3.6 New Paradigm for Anxiety Research

Magazine the Science:

In 1978, I published a landmark study in Science (7/7/78), which linked alpha increases with reductions of both trait anxiety and state anxiety. This study
subsumed previous negative reports on this topic that were special cases of low anxiety subjects, which were irrelevant to treating high anxiety
people. Even more importantly, this was the first report in a world-class scientific journal that showed personality traits were linked (possibly causally linked) with
brain wave activity.

I had previously published (in 1976) on the correlation of changes in the MMPI’s clinical scales with changes in EEG alpha activity at three different locations on the head. But this paper was published first in a conference Proceedings and was then abstracted in a specialty journal, Biofeedback, and Self-Regulation so that the psychiatric and psychological communities paid little or no attention to this finding.

However, when this report appeared in Science in 1978 showing that people could learn to increase their alpha brain waves with EEG feedback training and that such learned alpha increases resulted in significant decreases in both state and trait anxiety, the scientific establishment was put on notice about a new paradigm for medical and psychological research. Over ten years later, additional research by others confirmed my 1976 and 1978 reports of personality changes produced by learned control of EEG activity through EEG feedback.

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