Date of Award

1982

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between single and multiple levels of augmented feedback received during training of bidirectional finger temperature control. Twenty-five male and twenty-five female undergraduate students were randomly assigned, balanced for sex, to one of five training groups. Three groups received a single level of feedback sensitivity (none, low, high) and two groups received multiple levels of feedback sensitivity within the same training trial (high-low and low-high). Finger temperature feedback was provided in the form of visual analogue feedback. All subjects received two one-hour training sessions. Each session consisted of a skin temperature decrease trial followed by a skin temperature increase trial. Training trials contained four five-minute training phases: Baseline, Feedback 1, Feedback 2, and Self-control. A four-factor mixed design with one between-group and three within-group factors was used to analyze different scores on five response measures: finger temperature, heart rate, respiration, skin resistance, and integrated EMG of the left forearm. Analysis of finger temperature data found no significant differences between groups. Therefore, the data failed to support hypothesized relationships between feedback sensitivity and temperature regulation. Sex of subjects proved to a critical factor relative to direction of change. Females tended to vasoconstrict regardless of instructions whereas males showed the opposite tendency. Multiple regression analyses, as well as analyses of heart rate, respiration, and integrated forearm EMG data led to speculation regarding the possible role of somatic maneuvers in the learning of peripheral temperature regulation under conditions of augmented feedback. Findings were discussed in terms of relevant biofeedback and motor skills learning literature. Explanations were offered for both negative and positive findings with suggestions regarding future research activity.

Pages

162

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