A study on clinical application of photic feedback therapy (report I). The examination of its effectiveness to psychological and physiological measures

K. Kawahara*, H. Yamamoto, S. Ebana, K. Tsukui, T. Aonuma, A. Sasaki, H. Kumano, M. Yasushi

*Corresponding author for this work

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The photic feedback therapy is a kind of therapy used for inducing a relaxation state in a subject. In this therapy, the electroencephalogram (EEG) records of the subject are converted into photic stimuli, which are applied to his visual sensory system to activate EEG. The principle is based on a combination of the photic driving of EEG and biofeedback theory. The characteristic of this therapy is in that the subject can control the amplitude and frequency of his EEG with no intentional efforts. We applied this therapy to our outpatients with various psychosomatic diseases and neuroses according to the prescribed protocol and assessed the effectiveness using the psychological and physiological measures. Ten outpatients (8 males and 2 females) aged 21 to 77 (average of 32.2) in our department of psychosomatic medicine participated in this study. Five therapeutic sessions and 2 baseline sessions each before and after the therapeutic sessions were performed once weekly. The extent of improvement of symptoms and the changes of psychological and physiological measures between pre- and post-therapeutic baseline sessions were recorded. The improvement rating showed marked improvement in 3 patients, mild improvement in 4, and no change in 3. The psychological examinations in all subjects revealed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) score, a tendency of increase (p<0.1) in A score (eye symptom) of the Cornell Medical Index (CMI) and tendencies of decreases (p<0.01) in T score (extroverted thinking) of the Yatabe-Guilford personality test (Y-G) and NP score (nurturing parent) of the Egogram (TEG). The evaluation in the improved subjects (n = 7) revealed a significant decrease (p<0.02) in T score of Y-G and tendencies of increases (p<0.1) in A and M (maladaptation) scores of CMI. The physiological examination using coefficient of component variance of low frequency (CCV·LF), that of high frequency (CCV·HF), and L/H ratio showed no significant difference. The fact that marked improvement in 3 patients and significant changes in some psychological measure were achieved after this short-term therapy suggested that this therapy is suitable as psychosomatic therapy. We guess that these psychological changes resulted from the relaxation state induced by this therapy, which made patients to pay attention to and become aware of their body sensation and their feelings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-590
Number of pages10
JournalJapanese Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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