Psychophysiology studies interactions between the mind and body by recording how the body is functioning and relating the functions recorded to behavior. Changes in the body’s functioning cause changes in behavior and vice versa. Psychophysiological recording techniques are generally non-invasive. That is, they record from the body’s surface and nothing goes into the person being recorded. Psychophysiological recordings are frequently used to help assess problems with how the body is functioning.
What is Psychophysiology | Biofeedback
Biofeedback is the process of providing real time information from psychophysiological recordings about the levels at which physiological systems are functioning. Electronic biofeedback devices are designed to record physiological functions non-invasively. Most record from the surface of the skin. The information recorded by surface sensors is frequently sent to a computer for processing and then displayed on the monitor and / or through speakers. The person being recorded and any therapist or coach who may be present can attend to the display of information and incorporate it into whatever process they are attempting to perform. The device does not send anything directly back into the person being recorded. The loop is completed only when the person being recorded attends to and uses the displayed information.
The picture shows a child with a temperature sensor taped to her finger while she and her coach watch a display of changes in temperature. She is being coached to control her finger temperature to prevent the onset of migraine headaches. This training has been proven to be as effective as headache medications.
This video provides an excellent overview of what biofeedback/applied psychophysiology is.