Psychologies – East and West Seminar: Jan./Feb. 1977
The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge
TWO WEEKEND SYMPOSIA
BIOFEEDBACK, MEDITATION & SELF REGULATING THERAPIES
A One-Day Symposium at MIT
September 21, 1991
January 22-23, 1977
In Cooperation with
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO
Public Programs and Continuing Education
Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and
PSYCHOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
February 5-6, 1977
In Cooperation with
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Department of Psychology and
College of Continuing Education
Recent research demonstrates that we are more capable of controlling our bodily and psychological processes than was previously thought. These findings challenge many longstanding assumptions in physiology, psychology, and medicine.
A new, highly interdisciplinary field is emerging – one which draws together the sophisticated instrumentation of Western technology, the principles of behavioristic psychology, and the practices of the ancient Eastern traditions of Yoga, Zen and Sufism. The result is a new understanding of human capabilities for self-regulation which may provide powerful tools for increasing a person’s participation in his/her own therapy and health promotion.
This symposium will present a critical overview of the most important research and clinical applications of biofeedback, meditation and other self-regulatory therapies. It is intended primarily for physicians, nurses, psychotherapists and other health professionals as well as psychological and biological researchers.
KENNETH GAARDER, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Director of Clinical Psychophysiology Laboratories at the Audie Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital and the Health Science Center. Dr. Gaarder’s research interests include the psychophysiology of low-arousal states, eye movements, the application of biofeedback and self-regulatory therapies to psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders and the study of the doctor-patient relationship. His new book on the clinical use of biofeedback will be published in the spring.
NEAL E. MILLER, Ph.D., is Professor and head of a laboratory of physiological psychology at The Rockefeller University. He was the first researcher to challenge the traditional view that visceral and glandular responses could not be operantly conditioned and for the past ten years his laboratory has explored the possibilities of visceral learning. He is coauthor of the classic Social Learning and Imitation, and 64 of his papers have been collected in Neal E. Miller: Selected Papers. He is also one of the editors of the Biofeedback and Self-Control annuals.
ROBERT E. ORNSTEIN, Ph.D., (for biography, see other program)
HANS SELYE, M.D., C.C., is Professor and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, Canada. He holds earned doctorates in medicine, philosophy and science, numerous honorary degrees, and has been made a Companion of the Order of Canada, his country’s highest honor. His major contribution is the description of the general adaptation or “stress” syndrome. The Stress of Life and the recent Stress Without Distress are among the books and over 1,600 articles he has authored.
M.B. STERMAN, Ph.D., is Chief, Neuropsychology Research, Veterans Administration Hospital, Sepulveda, California and Professor of Anatomy and Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has concerned the neurophysiology of sleep, EEG mechanisms related to physiology and behavior, as well as applications of this approach to EEG biofeedback with epilepsy and other disorders of the nervous system.
JOHANN STOYVA, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Biofeedback Laboratory at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver. His major research interests have been EMG biofeedback, low-arousal states, theoretical issues in biofeedback and self-regulation, and clinical applications of biofeedback. He is one of the editors of the Biofeedback and Self-Control annuals, and of the new journal, Biofeedback and Self-Regulation.
CHARLES SWENCIONIS is Managing Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge, and a doctoral candidate in Psychology at Stanford University. His research interests include cardiovascular self-control, effects of psychological exercises on physiology and health psychology. He is editing a book dealing with the topics presented in this symposium.
Saturday, January 22
THE VOLUNTARY CONTROL OF INTERNAL STATES: AN INTRODUCTION
OVERVIEW OF BIOFEEDBACK RESEARCH: SOME CRITICAL PROBLEMS IN EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL STUDIES
Neal E. Miller, Ph.D.
The past ten years have seen an explosion of research in biofeedback. Basic laboratory research is now being applied to the therapeutic training of responses of the intestinal, cardiovascular, muscular and nervous systems. As so often happens with a new therapeutic technique, over-optimistic claims may lead to disillusionment and interfere with the hard work necessary to improve and evaluate these therapeutic applications. Research on visceral learning and biofeedback will be critically evaluated and the major theoretical issues of biofeedback will be reviewed with emphasis on the need for a more rigorous evaluation of the therapeutic applications of biofeedback. A question and answer period will follow the lecture.
EEG BIOFEEDBACK AND EPILEPSY
M.B. Sterman, Ph.D.
EEG biofeedback to reduce epileptic seizures represents one of the most striking clinical applications of biofeedback training to date. The procedure was developed following the observation in experimental animals that increased resistance to drug-induced seizures could be produced following EEG feedback training. These findings have since been extended to humans with epilepsy and the reduction of seizures has been confirmed in numerous laboratories, suggesting biofeedback as a desirable alternative to drug therapies.
BIOFEEDBACK TRAINING OF SKELETAL MUSCLE RESPONSE
Johann Stoyva, Ph.D.
Training skeletal muscle responses through electromyographic (EMG) feedback is an area of biofeedback research which is being used to change both generalized response to stress as well as specific problems. Applications have been made to insomnia, tension headache, bruxism, muscle retraining, cerebral palsy, spasmodic torticollis, anxiety disorders, and to facilitate systematic desensitization. EMG feedback research will be reviewed and used as a model for issues which also arise in other modalities of biofeedback: basic principles of biofeedback; generalization to other systems; long-term consequences; and necessity of appropriate control procedures.
USING BIOFEEDBACK IN A CLINICAL SETTING
Kenneth Gaarder, M.D.
Biofeedback is normally applied in the clinic by a trained technician under the supervision of a physician or other practitioner. A therapeutic contract defines the goals and the therapeutic relationship. Structured work optimizes the chances of recognizing problems and attaining success. Biofeedback is routinely combined with home practice of relaxation exercises and with comprehensive clinical management of the individual case.
Sunday, January 23
STRESS WITHOUT DISTRESS
Hans Selye, M.D., C.C.
The development of the stress concept and the physiological mechanisms of stress will be briefly reviewed. The lecture will be accompanied by slides showing biological processes and medical observations that illustrate how a satisfactory philosophy of life and code of behavior, based exclusively on scientific principles, can be developed using stress as a positive force. A question and answer period will follow the lecture.
Autogenic training is self-regulatory therapy developed mainly in European medical practice. In addition to training a general pattern of relaxation, autogenic training enables the person to increase or decrease muscle tension and blood flow in specific body parts. It is usually applied to psychosomatic disorders and is practiced by the patient at home under medical supervision.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-REGULATION THERAPIES AND MEDITATION
Robert Ornstein, Ph.D.
Many of the practices of esoteric traditions have common elements, although they may appear diverse. Meditative techniques such as mantra, koans, whirling and attending to breathing all focus attention on one, unchanging source of stimulation. Physiological responses such as EEG alpha and relaxation are also common. Such techniques often form parts of the medical care available in Eastern cultures. The objective study of these practices may yield insights on the capabilities of human self-regulation.
with Dr. Gaarder, Dr. Ornstein, Dr. Sterman, Dr. Stoyva, and Mr. Swencionis
THE USES OF MEDITATION
Robert Ornstein, Ph.D.
Spiritual techniques have been marketed as relaxation and relaxation devices have been packaged as spiritual. A lack of sophistication in the West has led to much confusion, and done a disservice to both the scientific study of voluntary control and to genuine systems of personal development. This confusion and degeneration does not mean that genuine forms of both do not exist, only that we need to think more clearly and examine more closely.
PSYCHOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
There is a reawakening of concern with consciousness, in psychology, psychiatry and many areas of contemporary life. The scientific study of consciousness is at its inception in the West, yet much useful information has been discovered from the study of perception, hypnosis, sleep and dreams.
Further, a major new perspective on the nature of consciousness has come from the study of the brain—two different modes of consciousness are subtended by the two cerebral hemispheres with the left hemisphere specialized for analysis, and the right for holistic mentation.
The interest in the dimensions and alterations of consciousness also leads to the possibility of conscious development. Those concerned with these problems have, in the East, sought to develop a personal knowledge of the basic questions of psychology and philosophy. As the scientific analysis progresses, we are better able to understand and integrate these cross-cultural perspectives.
This symposium will present an integrated and cohesive approach to this new area of inquiry, with speakers who are principals in the field.
WILLIAM DEMENT, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he heads the Sleep Disorders Clinic and Laboratory. He has been a leading figure and a pioneer in research on sleep, dreams, and more recently on sleep disorders. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and the book Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep.
ERNEST R. HILGARD, PH.D., is Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. His research interests and scientific publications have spanned areas from conditioned reflexes and human learning to the phenomena of hypnosis. He is the author of the influential Theories of Learning (with Gordon Bower) and Introduction to Psychology (with Richard and Rita Atkinson), as well as the recent Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain, with Josephine Hilgard.
ROBERT E. ORNSTEIN, PH.D., is Associate Professor of Medical Psychology with the Institute for the Study of Human Consciousness at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, the University of California San Francisco, and President of the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge. He has done research on the relation of hemispheric specialization to consciousness, biofeedback of EEG asymmetry, and the experience of time. Dr. Ornstein is the editor of The Nature of Human Consciousness, the author of The Psychology of Consciousness, and co-author of On the Psychology of Meditation.
IDRIES SHAH is the leading contemporary exponent of Sufism. His 17 books on the subject are used in university departments of Psychology, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology and others throughout the Eastern and Western academic world. He is Director of Studies at the Institute for Cultural Research, London.
CHARLES T. TART is an Associate Professor of Psychology University of California, Davis. He is a regular research contributor to a wide variety of fields, among them hypnosis, sleep and dreams, drug effects on consciousness, and the scientific study of “paranormal” phenomena. He is the editor of Altered States of Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychologies, and author of States of Consciousness.
Saturday, February 5
A SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: INTRODUCTION
Robert Ornstein Ph.D.
The study of consciousness is difficult, for, unlike most objects of scientific inquiry, consciousness is an internal, private process. Hence, many scientists and philosophers have focused on secondary phenomena, such as the study of behavior, physiology, and language, taking a reductionist and materialistic approach. Such reduction has obscured the primacy of consciousness in psychology, yet today, a new science of consciousness is developing, which draws from the methodology and technology of the twentieth century and the perspective of philosophical and religious tradition, in a new synthesis.
CONSCIOUSNESS IN HYPNOSIS: DIVISIONS OR LEVELS?
The usual analysis of consciousness is that sub- or unconscious processes reflect a “deeper” layer of consciousness, yet other divisions may exist, as described by the term “co-conscious.” Hypnosis can be used to determine the nature of the alterations and splits of consciousness. Some phenomena, such as hypnotic analgesia and deafness show that certain experiences can be deflected from awareness before becoming conscious and can be recalled later. Other phenomena are better described according to “depth,” such as hypnotic extensions of time experience. It may be, then, that hypnotic alterations of consciousness are not one but several.
THE WORLD OF SLEEP AND DREAMS
William Dement, M.D.
Our consciousness changes radically at night as we enter the world of sleep and dreams, yet this “world” is accessible only to the dreamer. Recently external physiological indices have been developed for stages of sleep and dreams which enable an observer to determine when a person is dreaming, and to investigate reports of the contents of dreams. Further research developments have led to new discoveries on the nature of sleep and sleep disorders.
Sunday, February 6
THE ASSUMPTIONS OF WESTERN PSYCHOLOGY
Charles Tart, Ph.D
Every action and thought we have rests upon assumptions. While contemporary psychologists are familiar with evidence on the role of our assumptions they rarely apply it to their own scientific analysis of the mind. Yet if we begin to apply these considerations to psychological research, perhaps much of what we consider our “basic data” may be only relatively true, in that it applies only within the shared context of our culture’s assumptions. These assumptions on the nature of man, of the physical world, and man’s place in it, and on the structure of consciousness will be considered.
LATERAL SPECIALIZATION OF COGNITION: RESEARCH EVIDENCE AND IMPLICATIONS
Robert Ornstein Ph.D.
In hundreds of experiments, research with normal people has confirmed that of the split-brain and neurosurgical cases: The two cerebral hemispheres are differentially involved in different cognitive tasks, and may operate in differing modes, one analytical and sequential; the other holistic and simultaneous. Evidence from EEG, eye movement, dichotic listening and handedness studies will be presented. The implications of the duality of the brain for psychology, education and our approach to the psychologies of the East will be discussed.
FRAMEWORK FOR NEW KNOWLEDGE: DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATIONS OF SUFISM
Those concerned with mental phenomena in Eastern societies have specialized in a personal experiential approach to the questions of psychology and philosophy. This approach to human consciousness complements the objective scientific inquiry of Western science. There is a continuous “stream” of this knowledge which has influenced major philosophical and religious schools of the East and West and is active today.
SYMPOSIUM SUMMARY, Robert Ornstein, PH.D.