Biofeedback Lab Prepares Students for Professional Practice

The department of psychology’s Biofeedback Lab provides physiological monitoring capability that can be used in a variety of psychology-related research projects.

The department of psychology’s Biofeedback Lab provides physiological monitoring that can be used in a variety of psychology-related research projects. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Bethany Brock, Public Relations Writer

January 22, 2013

The department of psychology’s Biofeedback Lab allows students to learn basic principles of how to conduct biofeedback therapy and prepares them with more advanced training for their future professional practices in psychology, counseling, nursing and physical therapy.

The Biofeedback Lab is a clinically effective monitoring tool that allows psychology faculty and students to measure physiological processes like muscle tension, heart rate, skin temperature, skin conductance and brain wave activity.  The information monitored in the Biofeedback Lab allows students to consider physiological variables that can be used in a variety of psychology-related research projects.

The sensitive monitoring instruments of the biofeedback system track subtle changes in physiological states with the goal of helping individuals bring those processes under conscious control. The Biofeedback Lab allows students to be work alongside and be mentored by faculty who can address a broader range of research questions about monitoring physiological variables.

Milton Becknell, Ph.D., chair for the department of psychology and professor of psychology, and students Katlyn Orient and Anna Vendl, conducted a recent study in the Biofeedback Lab. The study involved monitoring heart rate, muscle tension and skin temperature in order to measure autonomic nervous system arousal during a challenging cognitive task.  Becknell, Orient and Vendl presented their project at the annual Ohio Psychological Association Conference in October.

“The biofeedback instrument is like a special mirror that provides information about a process inside the body, which the person may not be aware of, or may find difficult to regulate,” Becknell said.  “Our students benefit from having this basic exposure to how biofeedback can be a useful adjunct in the assessment and treatment of a variety of mental and physical health disorders.”

“The Biofeedback Lab also allows students to further their research experience, which increases the competitiveness of students applying to graduate school,” said Amanda Burger, Ph.D. assistant professor of psychology. “Graduate schools value research and sophisticated research study,” said Burger.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.