Biofeedback: A Practitioner's Guide

By Mark S. Schwartz; Frank Andrasik | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 1
A Historical Perspective
on the Field of Biofeedback
and Applied Psychophysiology
Mark S.SchwartzFrank AndrasikThis chapter conveys a rich appreciation of the converging trends that have influenced the development and journey of applied biofeedback, and the evolution of the broader field of applied psychophysiology. This historical perspective helps readers to understand not only the origins of biofeedback, but also some factors shaping its future. It also helps to illuminate the broader concept of applied psychophysiology, and to give perspective to the name changes of the primary professional membership organization and its journal.Applied biofeedback began in the United States with the convergence of many disciplines in the late 1950s. The major antecedents and fields from which it developed include the following. (Both in this list and in subsequent text, italics on first use of a term indicate that the term is included in the glossary at the end of this chapter.)
1. Instrumental conditioning of autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses.
2. Psychophysiology.
3. Behavior therapy and behavioral medicine.
4. Stress research and stress management strategies.
5. Biomedical engineering.
6. Surface electromyography (EMG), diagnostic EMG, and control of single motor units.
7. Consciousness, altered states of consciousness, and electroencephalography (EEG).
8. Cybernetics.
9. Cultural factors.
10. Professional developments.2

The order of the items in this list reflects neither historical sequence nor importance. Other classifications and historical perspectives on biofeedback applications can be found in Gaarder and Montgomery (1977, 1981), Gatchel and Price (1979), Anchor, Beck, Sieveking, and Adkins (1982), and Basmajian (1989).

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