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Is brain-behavior behavior?. If so, it can be conditioned just like other behaviors In 1960s, certain rhythms could be “trained” Led to Neurotherapy and Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI). History of Biofeedback. JH Bair, 1901, instrument used to teach ear wiggling

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is brain behavior behavior
Is brain-behavior behavior?
  • If so, it can be conditioned just like other behaviors
  • In 1960s, certain rhythms could be “trained”
  • Led to Neurotherapy and Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI)
history of biofeedback
History of Biofeedback
  • JH Bair, 1901, instrument used to teach ear wiggling
  • In early 20th century, J.H. Schultz in Germany developed a technique called Autogenic Training. Verbal instructions are used to guide a person to a more relaxed and controlled physiological state.
    • The method flourished, and the results were reported upon by Wolfgang Luthe in 1969 in the United States.
  • Increased awareness in Western world of yogic ability to alter physiology volitionally. E.g., a yogi could survive in a sealed box by voluntarily reducing his metabolic rate significantly, surviving hours with a limited supply of oxygen.
  • Peripheral biofeedback techniques include
    • GSR, thermal, breathing, cardiac
internal inhibition
Internal inhibition
  • Pavlov conditioning experiments
    • Tone for food, buzzer for shock –
    • Moved them closer together in time
    • confounded dog fell asleep
      • Termed “internal inhibition”
      • Animal can close down own systems to avoid stress
history of eeg biofeedback
History of EEG biofeedback
  • 1934, Adrian watched his EEG in front of oscillograph and created alpha at will
  • 1958, alpha biofeedback or deep states
    • Joe Kamiya at U Chicago
    • Subject 1,
      • 1st trial, 60 tones  60 guesses, half right
      • 2nd, 65 % correct
      • 3rd, 85% correct
      • 4th, after initial mistakes, 400 correct guesses in a row
  • 1968, 1st congress in Aspen Colorado, field named biofeedback
  • “Alpha training” adopted by counterculture and practitioners oversold its claims

From Kamiya (1978) Science paper

history of smr biofeedback
In 1960s Mercury astronauts claimed they saw natives waving at them when they flew over the Pacific.

(i.e., they hallucinated)

In 1967, Gordon Allies, inventor of amphetamine, was contracted to test toxicity of Mercury capsule rocket fuel with David Fairchild

However Allies tested another chemical compound on himself and died before contract over. Fairchild asked Sterman to help finish work.

MB Sterman

History of SMR biofeedback
history of smr biofeedback6
Then Sterman and Fairchild went on to another study, testing rocket fuel on 50 cats, 10 from Sterman’s previous SMR training study.

Inject 100 mg/kg or so of fuel into each cat

After one hour, all usually go into grand mal

but not all - 7 delayed, 3 not at all.

seizure thresholds changed in these 10

Not explainable by placebo (“i shall please” in Latin) as cats didn’t know what to expect, and experimenter blind because effect was entirely unexpected

History of SMR biofeedback
slide7

When monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer come in contact, they ignite automatically( i.e., no spark required) in absence of oxygen

Mono-methyl hydrazine

if eeg behavior is like any other behavior it could be shaped with operant conditioning
If EEG behavior is like any other behavior, it could be shaped with operant conditioning
  • Two prominent rhythms in cat EEG – SMR and PRS
    • Couldn’t train PRS, but could train SMR
history of smr biofeedback13
History of SMR biofeedback
  • Sterman and Fairchild tested NASA’s rocket fuel on 50 cats, 10 from Sterman’s previous SMR training study.
  • Inject same mg/kg of fuel into each cat
    • Cats show usual toxic prodromeAfter 1 hr, all usually go into grand mal
      • Of 50, 7 cats showed prodrome with delayed seizures and 3 without seizing.
      • Examining his data carefully, including who made up his sample, he realized the seizure thresholds changed in cats who underwent SMR training
    • Not explainable by placebo (“I shall please” in Latin) as cats didn’t know what to expect, and experimenter blind because effect was unexpected
slide14
Sterman et al (1967) showing usual toxic prodrome and resistance to MMH-induced seizures in a subgroup

Time

Avg 2 hours+ for seizures with EEG trained cats vs. 1 hour for normal cats

NASA Rocket fuel

history of smr biofeedback15
History of SMR biofeedback
  • Replicated in monkeys
  • Onto humans at colleagues’ urging.
    • n=1, epileptic case in EEG & Clin Neurophysiology
    • n=4, 65% seizure reduction (Epilepsia 1976)
    • n=8, ABA 3-year study, (Epilepsia 1978)
    • NIH-funded study
      • Sham control, n=24, 3yrs
      • Double yoked
        • n=8, n=8 NF, n=8 log books
      • Many went seizure free who received NF
      • Reliable increase in sleep spindle density and decreased awakenings

*

**

**

Lantz & Sterman, Epilepsia, 1988; Sterman & Lantz, JNT, 2001

60% reduction in seizures 12 mo after training

improved functioning with smr training
Improved functioning with SMR training

(C3)

  • Sterman, MB (2000). Basic Concepts and Clinical Findings in the Treatment of Seizure Disorders with EEG Operant Conditioning.
  • Clinical EEG, 31(1), 45-55.
why does smr training work
Why does SMR training work?

Sterman & Bloomfield, 1976

how does smr training work
How does SMR training work?
  • Likely enhances GABA circuitry involved in motor regulation, dampens excitability to sensorimotor stimulation
    • May increase GABAergic receptor density in sensorimotor pathways
slide19

Epilepsy  ADHD  Beyond

Lubar and Bahler (1976) trained epileptics to reduce seizure but noted that a hyperactive epileptic showed decrease in his overactivity after SMR enhancement and theta suppression training

  • 1967 SMR conditioning in general
  • 1973 Epilepsy
  • 1975 Peak Performance
  • 1976 ADHD
  • 1977 Addiction
  • 1978 Anxiety disorders
  • 1978 Learning disabilities
  • 1980 Sleep Disorders
  • 1995 Brain Injury
  • 1995 Lyme's Disease
  • 1996 CFS
  • 1997 Mood disorders

Neurofeedback Applications by year of 1st publication

Thalamocortical dysrhythmias may underlying a variety of conditions including depression, dysfunction associated with TBI, etc