Interactions Between Discrimination and Control of EEG Alpha
The relationship between discrimination and control of physiological states is largely unexplored, although it is often suggested that this relationship is important for the mechanism of action of biofeedback. This pilot study examined 6 participants given seven sessions of alpha discrimination training combined with standard neurofeedback “control” training. Four subjects achieved five criterion (binomial p < .05) sessions in the discrimination task. The discrimination task performances correlated significantly with performance in the amplitude control task. Evidence that some subjects can use the intertrial interval (ITI) to predict the correct responses in the discrimination task led to an examination of how ITIs were distributed with respect to success (correct or incorrect) and type of trial (same or different from previous) in these and 40 additional subjects from archival data (Frederick, 2012). This analysis found that some information about the correct responses was conveyed by the ITI, but participants made relatively little use of this information. However, the criterion discrimination sessions showed dramatic changes in the distribution of ITIs in the present (but not the archival) study, suggesting that participants were controlling their electroencephalogram (EEG) during these sessions. These findings provide preliminary evidence of generalization of skills between these two tasks.
Beilock S. L., & Carr, T. H. (2001). On the fragility of skilled performance: What governs choking under pressure? Journal
of Experimental Psychology: General, 130(4), 701–725.
Brener, J. (1974). A general model of voluntary control applied to the phenomena of learned cardiovascular change. In P. Obrist, A. H. Black, J. Brener, & L. V. DiCara (Eds.), Cardiovascular psychophysiology. Chicago: Aldine.
Cinciripini, P. M. (1984). Discrimination of sensorimotor EEG (12–15 Hz) activity: A comparison of response, production, and no-feedback training conditions. Psychophysiology, 21(1), 54–62.
Congedo, M., & Joffe, D. (2007). Multichannel tomographic neurofeedback: Wave of the future? In J. R. Evans (Ed.), Handbook of neurofeedback. New York: The Hayworth Medical Press.
Cott, A., Pavloski, R. P., & Black, A. H. (1981). Operant conditioning and discrimination of alpha: Some methodological limitations inherent in response-discrimination experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 110(3), 398–414. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-3418.104.22.1688
Felsinger, J. M., Gladstone, A. I., Yamaguchi, H. G., & Clark, L. (1947). Reaction latency (StR) as a function of the number of
reinforcements (N). Journal of Experimental Psychology, 37(3), 214–228.
Feree, T. C., Luu, P., Russell, G. S., & Tucker, D. M. (2001). Scalp electrode impedance, infection risk, and EEG data quality.
Clinical Neurophysiology, 112(3), 536–544.
Fitts, P. M., & Posner, M. I. (1967). Human performance. Oxford, England: Brooks and Cole.
Frederick, J. A. (2012). Psychophysics of EEG alpha state discrimination. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(3), 1345–1354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2012.06.009
Frederick, J. A. (in press). EEG state discrimination and the phenomenal correlates of brainwave states. In T. F. Collura & J. A. Frederick (Eds.), Clinician’s Companion to QEEG and Neurofeedback (annotated and with an introduction by J. Kiffer). New York: Taylor & Francis.
Fudge, R., & Adams, H. D. (1985). The effects of discrimination training on voluntary control of cephalic vasomotor activity.
Psychophysiology, 22(3), 300–306.
Gentile, A. M. (2000). Skill acquisition: Action, movement, and neuromotor processes. In J. Carr & R. Shepherd (Eds.),
Movement science: Foundations for physical therapy in rehabilitation (2nd ed., pp. 111–187). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen.
Grice, G. R. (1948). The relation of secondary reinforcement to delayed reward in visual discrimination learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38(1), 1–16.
Kamiya, J. (1962). Conditioned discrimination of the EEG alpha rhythm in humans. Proceedings of the Western Psychological
Association, San Francisco, California.
Kamiya, J. (1968). Conscious control of brain waves. Psychology Today, 1, 57–60.
Kamiya, J. (2011). The first communications about operant conditioning of the EEG. Journal of Neurotherapy, 15(1), 65–73.
Klimesch, W. (1999). Full-length review: EEG alpha and theta oscillations reflect cognitive and memory performance: A
review and analysis. Brain Research Reviews, 29(2–3), 169–195.
Kotchoubey, B., Kübler, A., Strehl, U., Flor, H., & Birbaumer, N. (2002). Can humans perceive their brain states?
Consciousness and Cognition, 11(1), 98–113.
Logsdon, H., Cox, C., West, K., & Frederick, J. A. (2013). First evidence of 14–18 Hz EEG state discrimination at Fz and
anterior cingulate in human subjects. Presented at ISNR, Dallas, TX.
Olson, P. (1987). Definitions of biofeedback. In M. S. Schwartz (Ed.), Biofeedback: A practitioner’s guide (pp. 33–38). New York: The Guilford Press.
Orne, M. T., & Wilson, S. K. (1978). On the nature of alpha feedback training. In G. E. Schwartz & D. Shapiro (Eds.),
Consciousness and self-regulation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 2). New York: Plenum Press.
Plotkin, W. B. (1981). A rapprochement of the operant conditioning and awareness views of biofeedback training: The role of discrimination in voluntary control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 110(3), 415–428.
Sherlin, L. H., Arns, M., Lubar, J., Heinrich, H., Kerson, C., Strehl, U., & Sterman, M. B. (2011). Neurofeedback and basic learning theory: Implications for research and practice. Journal of Neurotherapy, 15(4), 292–304.
Copyright (c) 2015 Jon A. Frederick, Kelli N. Dunn, Thomas F. Collura
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).