Psychophysiology: Human Behavior and Physiological Response

By John L. Andreassi | Go to book overview

Preface

The plan of this book is to provide students with elementary information regarding the anatomy and physiology of various body systems, methods of recording the activity of these systems, and studies and concepts describing how these physiological responses have been correlated with psychological aspects of behavior. Essentially, then, I reaffirm that the goal of this fourth edition is to introduce the beginning student to the field of psychophysiology. My book provides a comprehensive introduction for those new to the area, whether they are upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, or professionals new to the field who are seeking basic information. Psychology students, and especially those in courses concerned with physiology and behavior, physiological psychology, and psychophysiology, will be users of this book. The text will also be valuable to students of behavioral medicine, psychosomatic medicine, biofeedback, biomedical engineering, and to those in other life sciences, including biology and physiology.

The field of psychophysiology continues to develop and grow at an ever increasing pace. In this fourth edition, there are both structural and content changes. There are now separate chapters on pupillography and eye movements. The chapter on eye movements has been expanded to reflect increasing interest in the eye blink and its relation to stress, and, especially, to the startle pattern. A section has been added to cover work on the eye blink component of the startle reaction as it relates to attention, emotion, and psychopathology.

The chapter on applied psychophysiology has been divided to define a division between nonclinical (e.g., detection of deception) and applications to patients in clinical settings (e.g., schizophrenia). Thus, there are now 19 chapters in this book, compared to 17 in the third edition. Another structural change is the addition of brief summaries after each major section in the book. In addition, an Appendix on laboratory safety has been included in this new edition. Part of this Appendix deals with concerns over the possible spread of infectious diseases in the psychophysiology laboratory, measures to prevent this possibility, and the other major portion concerns equipment safety.

Content changes have been made in all chapters to cover some of the newer areas of research, as well as to update findings in the traditional topics of interest. There is new information on brain waves in memory and perception (especially gamma wave activity and event-related desynchronization.) Studies of alpha brain waves and intelligence, and new information on brain imaging (positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging) and behavior have been added. Recent research on event-related brain potentials in memory, attention, and intelligence is presented, as well as the use of brain potentials in the study of smell. New findings on patterning of facial muscle activity in emotional expressions and on central nervous system control of electrodermal activity are discussed. Other additions concern pupillary changes during processing load and heart activity changes under conditions of incentive and psychological job strain. Cardiovascular reactivity under different conditions of stress, and as a function of personality and social factors,

-xxi-

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