Biofeedback and the Regulation of Complex Psychological Processes

  • David Shapiro
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 2)


With the growth and diversity of research on the regulation of physiological responses by means of biofeedback and instrumental learning, investigators have become more and more attracted by the possibilities that these methods may provide for the analysis and modification of complex psychological processes. From early on in the development of the field, writers have speculated about the implications of biofeedback and other methods of self regulation and voluntary control, and a variety of reports have described case studies exemplifying these potentials. Examples of complex processes that have been discussed in this context are: states of consciousness, creativity and imagination, learning potential, attention and vigilance, problem solving capabilities, relaxation, coping with stress, and various perceptual and subjective reactions in pain, anxiety, fear, and other emotional states. Aside from the possible influence or control over such psychological processes, a biofeedback strategy of research may help elucidate and objectify so-called private events which have required sole dependence on introspective and verbal reports for their specification.


Heart Rate Cold Pressor Voluntary Control Electrodermal Response Cold Pressor Test 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at Los AngelesUSA

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