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How Alpha Feedback Works
“The following story is to give the reader a personal experience of how Alpha feedback works. The physiological processes of Alpha brain waves are strongly coupled to our experience of conscious awareness. Alpha waves reflect even very subtle shifts in awareness or consciousness. This story will help to share with the reader some of the insights into consciousness which flow from doing Alpha feedback. As you read it, try to note the development of the perspective of the “Witness” and to imagine how such a perspective could be useful to someone who knew in advance what would be happening to him or to her.
In 1968 I had been a subject in Joe Kamiya’s Alpha feedback lab on three prior occasions when our story begins. The three prior sessions (part of an ongoing study) had been on three days earlier in the week, and each day had featured about 50 minutes of actual feedback time. A laboratory technician had affixed the scalp, ear, and ground electrodes, escorted me into the sound and light reduced chamber, and monitored the equipment from an adjacent room. When instructions were given or the end of the session was to be announced, the technician spoke over an intercom.
But this fourth session was to be different. Having been intrigued in the formal experimental sessions by the warbling tone said to reflect his brain’s activity, I returned to the laboratory to find that no experiments were scheduled, so I requested that I be “hooked up for feedback” and allowed to explore, on my own, with the feedback signals. The lab technician was agreeable, affixed the electrodes, escorted me into the experimental chamber, and then left, closing the door…”