This symposium is to discuss the biofeedback from engineering viewpoints. This paper serves as the introductory remark, as well as the presentation of a guiding principle. The following points are emphasized. The basic concept and mathematical models should be given more insight. The technology for the measurement, the signal processing and the display should be more thoroughly considered based on the match to the human characteristics. The range of applications should be expanded. Several possibilities for those developments are presented.
The personal computer whwich has appeared in a market recently can realize environment of multimedia easily. A characteristic of multimedia is digital handling of information and an integration of media such as the picture, graphics and sound. Another important function of multimedia is interactive exchanges of information by a network. An interesting function of multimedia is the communication that is various and combined sensory concurrence. Biofeedback is the communication that can be put within a body and a mind. In regard to the communication, biofeedback and multimedia have distinctive feature in common. The multimedia-based biofeedback system which we have used is polygraph, personal computer, 12bit A/D converter, video capture board and video camera. In this study, integrated EMG and a picture of posture were used as a feedback signal. Ss operated a computer mouse pointing device while watching EMG and posture picture that was indicated on the CRT simultaneously. Ss trained their exercises more eagerly by using technique of multimedia. It was suggested that multimedia was effective to raise a motivation on biofeedback training. In 1996, internet began to be used for many peaple in Japan. If generally internet spreads, biofeedback training system in home will be possible. The progress of a hardware and software will bring new field and possibility on biofeedback research.
In recent years, various measurement methods of the brain function including PET, f-MRI, magnetoencephalography (MEG), etc. have been proposed. Among these techniques, MEG is more promising since it directly reflects the electrical activity of the brain, while other indirect methods like PET and f-MRI are based on the metabolism of nerve cells which would have some correlates with their electrical activities. In the present paper the author discusses the progress of MEG measurement technique and its applicability to the future biofeedback. The MEG technique is now in progress both in measurement and in analysis. Today, we have MEG sytem with more than 100 magnetic sensors and its effective analizer which enables fast source estimation. If the rapid progress continues, in the near future it will provide us much information on the brain function and make it possible for us to locally distinguish the active area in the brain which would be related to a specific brain function. Hence, if we apply it to biofeedback, we will be able to carry out the training more effectively and more specifically to get the target controllability by using the direct information on what is going on in the brain. For example, we might be able to regulate ourselves to control a specific organ to a specific direction, or to control some muscles to contract in a specific order, which would enables us more precise or acrobatic body movement. Anyway, MEG biofeedback would be more effective than the current one because MEG will provide us more direct and precise information on the behavior in the cortex level which is not available in the current EEG biofeedback. Although MEG biofeedback is promising, it should be pointed out that it might also give raise to an ethical problems by unexpected harmful side effects since it directly operates to the brain.
Using the computerized literature searching technique, the articles of biofeedback (BF) research were analyzed in consecutive year and different response measures. The findings obtained, in general, showed that there has been a declining trend with the peak number of articles in the early 1980s, providing that EEG BF number revealed a sharper curve than EMG or skin temperature BFs. Comparing to EEG BF, both EMG and skin temperature BFs have been frequently used in in practical applications and hence expanded into the interdisciplinary fields of immunology and biochemistry. In EEG BF, many studies were directed to the mind-EEG relation in the early 1970s, after then, positive findings could not be found enough in control of EEG, the reason of which was due to inadequate BF technique. Since our integrated EEG BF technique is provided with a sufficient control for BF, the technical problem will be solved in EEG BF. While the behavioral modification induced by BF, partucularly, in EEG were not studied systematically, it was shown in our study that cognitive task scores were changed by the degree of training of EEG BF. The behavioral modification as well as psychological mediation will be needed in the future studies in order to maintain the BF advantage in applications.
Respiratory control is the strategy used most frequently in Japanese people to calm down some stressful events in the daily life. There are few studies concerning about ambulatory monitoring and self-regulation of respiration in real life situations. The present study, therefore, described the methods for ambulatory measurement of respiratory movements of rib cage and abdomen and for calibration of respiratory movements to estimate ventilatory volume using multiple regression analysis. Estimated ventilatory volume shows high correspondence with pneumotachograph recordings. The preliminary experiment of ambulatory measurement showed that breathing patterns in real life situations are characterized with thoracic breathing and that predicted minute ventilations using respiratory movements showed greater than ones obtained in baseline rest even when desk working without gross body movements was done. These data suggested that respiratory activities in real life situations tend to be hyperventilated by psychological tension. In this study, the methodological issues on self-regulation of respiration were discussed.
This article reviews the anatomical structure and the physiological mechanisms of peripheral skin temperature and blood flow. The control mechanism of peripheral skin blood flow, the differences in vasomotor responses in some body sites, the relations between blood flow and skin temperature, the periodic variations in skin blood flow, the influence of physiological rhythms, sexual differences, and the effects of environmental temperature on the skin temperature are all discussed. In measurement of peripheral circulation and thermal biofeedback training, the areas attached to sensors, the temperature in the experimental room, the hour of the experiment, and the physiological state of the subject must be controlled. The sampling time, the units of time used in the analysis, and the upper limitation of skin temperature are considered.
The Author applied EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to two women survivors, who suffered from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and diagnosed as ASD one month following the earthquake. Within a session, their fears of the earthquake were diminished. The results showed that EMDR is effective for stress disorders like ASD or PTSD. A 25-year-old single woman initially complained of trauma-related imagery (e.g. fire) with an initial SUD level of eight. After four sets of eye movement (EM) the level of distress decreased to zero. After the seventh set of EM, her rating of cognition as "it was over" went up to "completely true." Five months later, these therapeutic changes were maintained without any relapse of symptoms. A married 28-year-old woman, re-experienced earthquake-related symptoms with a strong sense of fear during a therapy session of EMDR. The fear quickly decreased to a level of zero on SUD after the eleventh set of EM. At the same time she reported that she could believe a desirable cognition or that "everything is all right" without any doubt. The author pointed out that the therapeutic characteristics of EMDR are rapid effectiveness and less stress for both clients and therapists. Also some hypotheses of working mechanisms of EMDR were introduced.
Eye movements are divided into two components: one is saccadic eye movement which catches the object; the other is smooth pursuit eye movement which pursues the object, once caught, while it is moving. We first summarize the anatomical and physiological mechanism of these two components, with special reference to the difference in horizontal versus vertical eye movements, and subsequently we summarize the mechanisms of these two kinds of eye movement. At the same time, various researchers have made successful use of the eye-movement-controlling-maneuver to treat psychological problems. Although the mechanism by which eye movement affects the psychological state is still unclear, many authors have already confirmed its usefulness. Eye movement may therefore be an effective maneuver in the field of biofeedback therapy.
This study investigated actual conditions in computer use as well as computer use-related problems. A survey was conducted through a computer network. A great majority of a total of the 3,287 respondents were young and skillful users. However, two-thirds reported musculoskeletal troubles and one-third complained of psychological problems. Users' troubles increased with operation time and when computer use shifted from hobby to work. Eye troubles were frequently reported regardless of the length of operating time or purpose. In general, females complained of eye and musculoskeletal discomforts more often than males although no gender differences in psychological problems were observed. Mouse use-related discomforts were inconclusive because only 10 % of respondents mainly use the computer mouse at present.
The relation between each subject's feedforward and feedback function was investigated in this experiment. Ten subjects were divided into two groups, FF-Group and noFF-Group. Subject FF-Group were intentionally given several exemplary percent time alpha(PTA) changes prior to each training. These changes were expected to results in improvements in the subjects' feedforward function. This procedure is the same as supervised learning. On the other hand, subjects noFF-Group were not given the above exemplary PTA changes, but just carried on with each feedback training. In these experiments, on average active alpha in subjects FF-Group was more enhanced than in the other group. From the results, it was suggested that appropriate feedforward function raises confidence and plays an important role in alpha activity enhancement, and so feedforward compensated feedback control training is commendable.
Effects of Kai-Gou(Air-Ball Handling), a Qi-Gong strategy, on the biofeedback training for enhancement of the electroencephalographic-α activity(EEG- a BF) were studied. Under the conditions employed, the Kai-gou group subjects who performed the actions of Kai-Gou during the intervals of the trials of EEG-α BF training tended to exhibit higher integrated % α/sec. Values than the controls who took rest simply during the periods. Furthermore, among the Kai-Gou group subjects, ones who succeeded by the actions of Kai-Gou to have a feeling of the presence of a real warm ball between their hands showed good records in the EEG- a BF training. On the other hand, the results of psychological examinations(tests of MPI and TEG egogram) revealed that good records in the EEG-α BF training were associated,in the Kai-Gou group subjects, with high scores in AC item of TEG egograms, but in the controls, with those in N item of MPI test. It was therefore suggested from these results that the effects of Kai-Gou are caused at least partly by the achievement of relaxation due to exploitation or improvement of the BF ability to enhance the EEG- a activity and that such positive effects on the BF ability occurs mainly in subjects who are effected easily by the implication or instruction of others.
While skin temperature biofeedback is one of the most convenient and popular procedures among various biofeedback trainings, many past studies found some difficulties in it. The features of skin temperature biofeedback training were analyzed and blood flow biofeedback was proposed as a more appropriate procedure for control of peripheral vasomotor activity. The purpose of this study was to compare skin temperature biofeedback and blood flow biofeedback and demonstrate the advantage of the latter procedure. Eighteen undergraduates participated in this study, and their skin temperature, blood flow, respiration rate, electro myograph were measured. Skin temperature was measured with standard thermistor type biofeedback instrument. Blood flow was measured with laser-doppler flowmeter. The subjects were assigned into two groups: Skin temperature biofeedback(Temp-BF) group and blood flow biofeedback(Flow-BF) group. The former was given digital skintemperature feedback from their left hand and the latter was given blood flow feedback in the same way. They participated in 8 sessions in this study. Each session consisted of one increase training and one decrease training, in which they were insturcted to change their skin temperature or blood flow to the targeted direction. Inter session interval was approximately one week. In the result, significant difference between performance of increase training and that of decreace training was observed only in Flow-BF group. This result indicated an evidence of the superiority of Flow-BF training for control of peripheral vasomotor activity.