5. Biofeedback - Yeditepe University

Prof. Dr. Metin TULGAR
control of a system with its performance in the past.
e.g. a soccer player using penalty.
Norbert Wiener, a mathematician
who first started research in the field of feedback.
application of feedback technic to biological events.
Feedback from the different parts of the body such as
brain, heart, muscles etc
to control life-functions.
Human body is a self regulating system.
In fact, in daily life,
we use feedback technics unconsciously
to keep living, to keep stability, and to regulate our
Its value is understood when an organ is lost.
e.g. Someone who lost his eyes.
Education for Biofeedback
Whatever the problem is, the strategy is the same.
a special activity
patient monitor (EEG, EMG or ECG
including amplifier, signal coverter)
output can be sound, light or display.
Definately no pressure on the patient.
a simple example.
If mouth is in motion during reading without sound,
150 words a minute are lost.
Patient sitdowns on a chair;
Electrodes are placed on the neck, and
are connected to EMG;
The output of EMG is connected to a sound
• A book is given to the patient, and he is asked to
read without sound;
• If sound from the monitor increases,
the reader is subvocalizer.
Biofeedback studies revealed that
the concept of nervous system
had to be reviewed.
Regulation of Human Body
can be achieved by biofeedback methods.
• Voluntary system “somatic system”
(skeletal muscle movements)
is under our control.
• Involuntary system “autonomic system”
(eyes pupils, heart, stomach, arteries, endocrine etc)
is out of our control.
Dr. Miller, New York University,
with studies on paralysed rats,
showed that involuntary system can be
controlled by voluntary system.
It has been proven that autonomic functions of
human, such as heart beats and blood pressure,
can be controlled.
Biofeedback with EMG Technic
With two purposes;
1. Physiological measurement of a special situation:
mental situations such as hate, love, depression.
Special situation
EEG waves
a correlation is present, even if not perfect
2. It is possible to control a behaviour of which EEG
waves can be standardized.
e.g. alfa rhytms to cool down.
Biofeedback with EMG Technic
•Anxiety and Chronic Tension Headache (CTH)
• Insomnia
•Mascular Tics
Anxiety: general and specific (related to special activities
such as exam, hightness)
• To decrease anxiety, patient is said “relax”
Order, sometimes, does effect contrary.
• Dr. Budzynski applied EMG technic
placing the electrodes on forehead, and
frontalis muscle was controlled.
• Dr. Orne applied EEG technic
Patient tried to get alpha recording to relax.
• Sleeping drugs have side effects such as increase in
dosage and dependancy in time.
• Dr. Budzynski (EMG + EEG technics)
Frontalis relax (EMG);
Once this was achieved, EEG to get sleeping waves recording.
• Dr. Maurice (EEG technic)
Cats learned how to get to sleep with EEG waves.
Alpha EEG sessions, which are shorter, are also useful.
Muscular Tics
Spasmodic tics can be controlled by biofeedback with EMG.
Dr. Peper
a young woman with heavy facial tics.
After enough pscyhiatric treatment,
EMG biofeedback (control of frontalis muscle)
“relax back, relax back, I could conquer my bodily
movement, don’t tic, and I didn’t”
• Dr. Booker
a middle aged woman with voluntary lose in
the left side of face and left eye.
With biofeedback lasting months,
she was able to control face muscles.
D o I t Y o u r s e l f (DIY) Feedback
• Visual Feedback
• Auditory Feedback
• Pencil and Paper Feedback
• Interpersonal Feedback
Visual Feedback
• TV + Video, VCD, DVD
• To see our faults by watching ourselves,
and then to avoid repeating them.
Auditory Feedback
• Type recorder
• To listen to our voice when speaking to different
persons, e.g. Mother, father, wife, housband,
children, boss etc, and get aware of differences,
and to rearrange our behaviours.
Pencil and Paper Feedback
• Dr. McFall, University of Visconsin,
wanted a group of volunteers to record their smoking.
Day to day, enourmous decrease in smoking.
• A person, who put on kilos, can also apply the same
method. By writing everything consumed, it is
possible to decrease eating.
Interpersonal Feedback
• We can get info about our behaviours from other people,
e.g. Friends, mother, father, wife, husband, children, colleagues.
A kind of mirror to see ourselves.
Any how, sometimes this method may be misleading.
• Chris Wendell, psychologist, California School of Professional
joined a group, followed and warned them: “I see you are hunching your
He helped many people stop physical and psychological negativeness.
• Carl Rogers, psychologist established “Client Centered Therapy”
listened to problems of patients, and just repeated them laudly,
adding his own comments time to time.
This method, now, is followed as a course in all medical faculties in USA.
Body Charting
• A tool to be aware of ourselves.
• Body functions are rhytmic, “body ryhtims”
e.g. in the afternoon at 2.00 p.m., tired;
in late evening, cool; at night, reduction in
• Biorhytims may be short or longer
e.g. nostrils of the nose change in every 3
• Character changes between 3 and 6 months.
• Even deliveries are rhytmic. Most babies come
at late night between 00.00 and 6.00 a.m.
to get biorhytim graphics for a certain period of time,
to learn our body activities,
to arrange our work in accordance with this,
to consider our accident risky, pensive, low performance times.
Times Magazine, January 1972
Swiss Co. A new watch given “owners off days”
Japan Ohmi Railways Co., 1969
recorded biorhytims of 500 bus drives in computer, and
reminded them “bad days” at the beginning of each shift.
Accidents decreased 50 %.
• Duration of Application:
Daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
Between 3 and 6 months (minimal 1 month) to be reliable.
• No need for equipment; easy, simple, enough to be keen on it.
• Various methods, “24 Hour Master Chart”
starting before going to bed at night is appropriate.
Electromagnetic Personality
• The man is not limited with himself, not dependant, a part of the
• Astrophysical events, such as spin movement of the world, eliptic
movement of the moon and electromagnetic energy of the sun,
effect us.
• Frequency of atmospheric events is similar to frequency of the
• During full moon (± 5 days), increase in guilts and psychological
disorders, more applicant to Emergency Services of the Hospitals.
• Positive electrostatic force ~ stress, tiredness.
• Mental disorders percept different sounds, “electrical null point”
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