A PCT view of EEG Biofeedback

[David M. Goldstein (2003.05.16.2031)]

Dear CSG listmates,

I am trying to come up with a PCT view of EEG Biofeedback. This is one
of the things I do when I am not doing PCT based therapy.
It is really very different. It is not simply learning to relax.

What is EEG Biofeedback?

A person is given some information about his/her EEG activity at one or
more locations on the scalp in the form of visual and auditory displays.
The person learns to control the displays during the EEG Biofeedback
sessions. The displays are a function of the EEG activity. The control
is demonstrated by some kind of measurable, quantitative change in the
displays. This change can last; it is not a momentary thing.

As a result of learning to control his/her EEG activity, the hope is
that a person�s presenting symptoms will change in a desired direction
and the person�s functioning will change in a desired direction. This
does happen.

What is a theory of EEG Biofeedback?

A theory would explain what is happening within the person�s brain when
the learning takes place. The changes within the person�s brain could be
structural and/or functional. A theory would explain how the EEG
Biofeedback experience results in the changes which take place. I would
guess that the changes involve properties of the control systems.

Unlike talk based therapy, the person is not asked to focus on specific
topics, issues or concerns during the EEG Biofeedback experience. There
is no MOL and yet important symptom and functional changes happen.

Unlike medication, the person must actively participate in the process.
If a person does not learn to control the displays, the desired changes
in the person will not happen.

A theory would explain how the brain changes which do occur can result
in the specific symptom and functioning changes in the person which do
occur.

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.05.16.1006) ]

[David M. Goldstein (2003.05.16.2031)]

Dear CSG listmates,

I am trying to come up with a PCT view of EEG Biofeedback. This is one
of the things I do when I am not doing PCT based therapy.
It is really very different. It is not simply learning to relax.

David, can we set this up for the "stress" experiments as well?

Marc

[From Dick Robertson,2003.05.17.1516CDT]

"David M. Goldstein" wrote:

[David M. Goldstein (2003.05.16.2031)]

Dear CSG listmates,

I am trying to come up with a PCT view of EEG Biofeedback. This is one
of the things I do when I am not doing PCT based therapy.
It is really very different. It is not simply learning to relax.

What is EEG Biofeedback?

A person is given some information about his/her EEG activity at one or
more locations on the scalp in the form of visual and auditory displays.

David,

First, congratulations on (once again) coming up with an interesting and
challenging problem. Now could you please say a little more about what
_kind_ of activity, and what information is given , and what measures are
taken to control for placebo effect (especially what might come via subtle
suggestions in answer to whatever questions the subject might have)?

The person learns to control the displays during the EEG Biofeedback
sessions. The displays are a function of the EEG activity.

Of what do the displays consist? I remember some of the 70's, 80's
biofeedback stuff on controlling blood pressure. Subjects typically were
encouraged to visuallize self relaxing in the sun on a summer beach, etc.
One of the guys at Swedish Covenant Hosp.'s "Life Center" (where I worked PT
in those days) was a real expert. His peopel did typically drop BP and
learn to do it on their own. Is the "display" to which you refer anything
along those lines?

The control is demonstrated by some kind of measurable, quantitative
change in the
displays. This change can last; it is not a momentary thing.

As a result of learning to control his/her EEG activity, the hope is
that a person�s presenting symptoms will change in a desired direction
and the person�s functioning will change in a desired direction. This
does happen.

Details?

What is a theory of EEG Biofeedback?

A theory would explain what is happening within the person�s brain when
the learning takes place. The changes within the person�s brain could be
structural and/or functional. A theory would explain how the EEG
Biofeedback experience results in the changes which take place. I would
guess that the changes involve properties of the control systems.

If the S's activity involves self-experimentation with (say) Principles I
could imagine how that might in some ways resemble a MOL investigation.

Unlike talk based therapy, the person is not asked to focus on specific
topics, issues or concerns during the EEG Biofeedback experience.

Well, wait a minute. If the subject is not a mere casual research
volunteer, but a Patient, then he/she has some error states going when
he/she sits down with the EEG /F -- if he/she is anything like me, he/she is
fairly continuously focused on rampant error states, until some sort of
displacement or resolution.

There is no MOL and yet important symptom and functional changes happen.

Details?

Unlike medication, the person must actively participate in the process.

By....?

If a person does not learn to control the displays, the desired changes
in the person will not happen.

OK, it suggests something is happening when it does.

A theory would explain how the brain changes which do occur can result
in the specific symptom and functioning changes in the person which do
occur.

Looking forward,

Best, Dick R.

[David M

[David M. Goldstein (2003.05.17.1741)]

[From Dick Robertson,2003.05.17.1516CDT]

Hi Dick,

Nice to hear from you and thanks for the questions.

[David M. Goldstein (2003.05.16.2031)]

Dear CSG listmates,

I am trying to come up with a PCT view of EEG Biofeedback. This is
one

of the things I do when I am not doing PCT based therapy.

It is really very different. It is not simply learning to relax.

What is EEG Biofeedback?

A person is given some information about his/her EEG activity at
one or

more locations on the scalp in the form of visual and auditory
displays.

David,

First, congratulations on (once
again) coming up with an interesting and

challenging problem. Now could
you please say a little more about what

kind of activity, and what information is given , and what measures
are

taken to control for placebo effect (especially what might come via subtle

suggestions in answer to whatever
questions the subject might have)?

David: The EEG activity which is monitored
could be the absolute amplitude of the EEG signal in the frequency range of 0
to 7 herz at a particular site on the scalp. Let us
pick the location which is at the top of the head (Cz) which is on the sensory-motor strip, halfway
between the two ears.

The visual display could be a bar which
increases or decreases as a person’s absolute amplitude changes in the selected
frequency.

The auditory display could be a tone which
comes on when the amplitude in the selected frequency range is below a value
set by the therapist.

The person learns to control the displays during the EEG
Biofeedback

sessions. The displays are a function of the EEG activity.

Of what do the displays consist?
I remember some of the 70’s, 80’s

biofeedback stuff on controlling blood pressure. Subjects typically were

encouraged to visuallize self relaxing in the sun on a summer beach,
etc.

One of the guys at Swedish Covenant Hosp.'s “Life Center”
(where I worked PT

in those days) was a real expert.
His peopel did typically drop BP and

learn to do it on their own. Is
the “display” to which you refer anything

along those lines?

David: I think I answered this in the last segment.

The control is demonstrated by some kind of measurable,
quantitative

change in the

displays. This change can last; it is not a momentary thing.

As a result of learning to control his/her EEG activity, the hope
is

that a person’s presenting symptoms will change in a desired
direction

and the person’s functioning will change in a desired
direction. This

does happen.

Details?

The measureable quantitative change could be
a learning curve whose slope decreases over time.

The presenting symptom which might change in this case would be an
increase in alertness. This might help a person function better in a learning
situation.

What is a theory of EEG Biofeedback?

A theory would explain what is happening within the person’s
brain when

the learning takes place. The changes within the person’s
brain could be

structural and/or functional. A theory would explain how the EEG

Biofeedback experience results in the changes which take place. I
would

guess that the changes involve properties of the control systems.

If the S’s activity involves self-experimentation with (say) Principles
I

could imagine how that might in
some ways resemble a MOL investigation.

David: In the case of EEG Biofeeback, the
learner is not very aware of how they are controlling the displays. They do
have a sense that they can control it.

Unlike talk based therapy, the person is not asked to focus on
specific

topics, issues or concerns during the EEG Biofeedback experience.

Well, wait a minute. If the
subject is not a mere casual research

volunteer, but a Patient, then he/she has some error states going when

he/she sits down with the EEG /F – if he/she is anything like me,
he/she is

fairly continuously focused on rampant error states, until some sort of

displacement or resolution.

David: This is true. The learner is not asked to focus on any therapy
issues. There is nothing that stops me from asking what was
the experience as he/she was doing the task; what sort of relationships
did the person note as he/she did the EEG Biofeedback task.

There is no MOL and yet important symptom and functional changes
happen.

Details?

David: With the EEG arrangement I mentioned, the person would be less
sleepy, more alert. With enough sessions, say 20 to 40 sessions of about 20
minutes each, the person’s general level of alertness would increase.

Unlike medication, the person must actively participate in the
process.

By…?

David: Noticing when the displays are moving in the right direction;
attempting to maintain the displays when they are in the right direction.

If a person does not learn to control the displays, the desired
changes

in the person will not happen.

OK, it suggests something is happening when it does.

A theory would explain how the brain changes which do occur can
result

in the specific symptom and functioning changes in the person
which do

occur.

Looking forward,

Best, Dick R.

[From Dick Robertson,2003.05.191920CDT]
“David M. Goldstein” wrote:

···

Hi
Dick,

Nice
to hear from you and thanks for the questions.

What is EEG Biofeedback?

Now could
you please say a little more about what

kind
of activity, and what information is given , and what measures are

taken
to control for placebo effect (especiallywhat
might come via subtle

suggestions
in answer to whatever questions the subject might have)?

David:
The EEG activity which is monitored could be the absolute amplitude of
the EEG signal in the frequency range of 0 to 7 herz
at a particular site on the scalp. Let us pick the location which is at
the top of the head (Cz)
which is on the sensory-motor strip, halfway between the two ears.

The
visual display could be a bar which increases or decreases as a person’s
absolute amplitude changes in the selected frequency.
So,
the subject is looking at a bar on the screen which reflects changes in
Herz of the selected scalp site by increasing/decreasing size of the cursor,
right?

What
is the subject told when hooked up and told to watch for changes in the
size of the cursor? What is he/she told when invited into the project?

Strictly
spontaneously, or is he/she told to try to do that?

David:
I think I answered this in the last segment.

Except for my new questions.

The control is demonstrated by some kind of measurable, quantitative

change in the

displays. This change can last; it is not a momentary thing.

As a result of learning to control his/her EEG activity, the hope is

that
a person’s presenting symptoms will change in a desired direction

and
the person’s functioning will change in a desired direction. This

does
happen.

Details?

The measureable
quantitative change could be a learning curve whose slope decreases over
time.

I meant,
What is the subject told? Is he/she told, “Yes, when you were getting
the cursor size to change your EEG pattern was changing in a correlated
fashion.”? Is he/she told, while the project is running, “Try to
get the size of the cursor to change by thinking (about things).”?

I take it
you mean here that if a patient says, “I have a problem staying alert,”
that you will say, “Let’s try some biofeedback work with that.” Is
that right?

If that
is right, are there any other kinds of presenting problems for which you
will use biofeedback?

What is a theory of EEG Biofeedback?

A theory would explain what is happening within the person’s brain when

the learning takes place. The changes within the person’s brain could be

structural and/or functional. A theory would explain how the EEG

Biofeedback experience results in the changes which take place. I would

guess that the changes involve properties of the control systems.

If the
S’s activity involves self-experimentation with (say) Principles I could
imagine

how that might in some ways resemble a
MOL investigation.

David:
In the case of EEG Biofeeback, the learner
is not very aware of how they are controlling the displays. They do have
a sense that they can control it.

But, do
you ask them to describe how they think they are getting the size of the
cursor to change as they want to see it change?

Unlike talk based therapy, the person is not asked to focus on specific

topics, issues or concerns during the EEG Biofeedback experience.

But, he/she
has to be given some statement to recruit them for the b/f experience,
and they then must project some personal meaning onto why they are doing
it, Right?

Well,
wait a minute.If the subject is not
a mere casual research

volunteer,
but a Patient, then he/she has some error states going when

he/she
sits down with the EEG /F – if he/she is anything like me, he/she is

fairly
continuously focused on rampant error states, until some sort of

displacement
or resolution.

David:
This is true. The learner is not asked to focus on any therapy issues.
There is nothing that stops me from asking what was
the experience as he/she was doing the task; what sort of relationships
did the person note as he/she did the EEG Biofeedback task.

Do you mean
that that is what you do do?

There is no MOL and yet important symptom and functional changes happen.

OK, I’ve already asked what they are.

OK, so that
is one presenting problem you treat with b/f, as I said above, is that
the only one?

Unlike medication, the person must actively participate in the process.

By…?

David:
Noticing when the displays are moving in the right direction; attempting
to maintain the displays when they are in the right direction.

If a person does not learn to control the displays, the desired changes

in the person will not happen.

So, you
have people who do, and others who do not, learn to control the displays.
What do you know about what makes for the difference?

A theory would explain how the brain changes which do occur can result

in the specific symptom and functioning changes in the person which do

occur.

What’s with all those funny yellow, fat arrows?

Best,
Dick R.

David:
With the EEG arrangement I mentioned, the person would be less sleepy,
more alert. With enough sessions, say 20 to 40 sessions of about 20 minutes
each, the person’s general level of alertness would increase.

The
presenting symptom which might change in this case would be an increase
in alertness. This might help a person function better in a learning situation.

The person learns to control the displays during the EEG Biofeedback

or, The
auditory display could be a tone which comes on when the amplitude in the
selected frequency range is below a value set by the therapist.