Biofeedback

Biofeedback

A method of behavior modification that uses principles of operant conditioning to change maladaptive behavior. With this method, a person is presented with visual or auditory information about some internal, involuntary process. The information is actual feedback about the internal process that the person can use to increase control of the internal process.

For example, a person suffering from stress can be hooked up to a biofeedback machine that creates a sound whenever the person starts getting stressed (increased heart rate, blood pressure, etc., would cause the machine to produce the sound). By paying attention to the sounds, the person can use relaxation techniques when there are some internal changes due to the stress – even if they are not yet feeling them, the effects can be identified by the machine and then controlled by the person. Over time, the goal is to be able to control these behaviors without the use of the machine.

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