Biofeedback vs. instructional control of skin temperature.
The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to determine the effects of instructions vs. biofeedback on the development of skin temperature self-control and (2) to assess how well learned control over temperature can be retained over time. Sixty female subjects were assigned to one of six groups: (1) response-specific instructions plus feedback, (2) thermal suggestions plus feedback, (3) instructions to rest plus feedback, (4) response-specific instructions without feedback, (5) thermal suggestions without feedback, and (6) instructions to rest without feedback. All subjects participated in five training sessions on 5 consecutive days and two follow-up sessions spaced 1 week and 2 weeks after training. Subjects given either feedback and response-specific instructions, feedback and thermal suggestions, or no feedback and thermal suggestions were able to produce significant increases in digital skin temperature consistently after three training sessions. Subjects in these groups retained the ability to control skin temperature both 1 and 2 weeks after training. Subjects in the remaining conditions showed no evidence of learned control over skin temperature.
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