Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Thirty-two subjects participated in 6 biofeedback training sessions to produce increases and decreases in skin conductance (SC) or heart rate (HR). Performance on control trials was examined with respect to SC and HR, as well as respiratory and somatomotor variables. The subjects also participated in 3 test sessions (on days 2, 5, and 9), which evaluated their ability to discriminate the target autonomic response, and sought to identify the bases for SC and HR discriminations. This design permitted examination of three major predictions from Brener's theory about the process which underlies the acquisition of autonomic control through biofeedback. The first prediction, that positive correlations should be obtained between control and discrimination performance throughout training, was not supported by the data. The other predictions, that control and discrimination performance both should become more specific to the target response as a function of training, were likewise not supported. On the whole, neither for SC nor for HR control was the pattern of results favorable to Brener's views.
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