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Biofeedback

  1. William A. Greene

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0129

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Greene, W. A. 2010. Biofeedback. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Eastern Washington University, Spokane

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

Abstract

Biofeedback is best understood as a closed feedback loop consisting of a person or animal, a response, a means to detect the response, and a mechanism for displaying the response to the person or animal—the response is thus fed back. For example, a person can be instructed to increase his or her heart rate; the heart rate is displayed by a monitor and fed back to the person; a feedback loop is thereby established. Biological systems have numerous, reflexive feedback loops to maintain homeostatic integrity: body temperature, blood sugar, blood pressure, endocrine levels, etc. Fluctuations are kept within narrow limits by such feedback loops. However, biofeedback learning is not reflexive—it is more closely associated with higher-order learning processes.

Keywords:

  • autonomic nervous system;
  • biofeedback;
  • desensitization;
  • functional disorders;
  • operant autonomic conditioning