Pavlovian and Operant-Biofeedback Procedures Combined Produce Large-Magnitude Conditional Heart-Rate Decelerations
There are some autonomically mediated changes such as heart-rate acceleration which have been shown by research of the last decade to be eminently affectable by operant-biofeedback procedures (e. g., Lang, 1974). However, as recent reviews of this sizeable body of research have clearly shown (e.g., Blanchard & Young, 1973), cardiac deceleration is quite refractory to biofeedback conditioning techniques. Specifically, biofeedback techniques which apply reinforcement or information from the outset in the operant-informational framework seem to be relatively ineffective in producing learned decelerations of anything over the order of 1–3 beats per minute (bpm), once proper controls for such factors as relaxation are instituted, and adequate samples of subjects (permitting statistical evaluation of the data) are tested.
KeywordsConditional Stimulus Classical Conditioning Pavlovian Conditioning Operant Shaping Conditional Stimulus Onset
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