Biofeedback and Consciousness
The continuous advancement in technology impacts healthcare in various ways. One healthcare development is in the use of digital biofeedback systems, which are used for various purposes. In digital biofeedback, an individual is connected to electrical sensors that transmit body information (Brennan et al., 2019). Biofeedback is a technique currently applied in self-regulation for body functions, such as motion and breathing (Green & Green, 1986). It is used to learn how to control body functions based on the information captured by the electrical sensors. The relationship between biofeedback and consciousness can be established based on the maintenance and restoration of health.
During self-regulation, to maintain or restore health, the brain plays a significant part, indicating the role of consciousness in self-regulation. Initially, individuals are unaware of various conditions that accumulate in their unconscious (Green & Green, 1986). During the biofeedback processes, awareness is brought forth, initiating the unconscious processing in an individual. Accordingly, this result becomes part of an individual’s consciousness as they are aware of the condition of their bodies; thus, they can regulate and control their bodily functions, such as breathing.
The limits of this relationship depend on the state of consciousness. Existing psychological conditions, stress, and drug use may interfere with the state of consciousness. Once the state of consciousness deviates from normal, the unconscious processing is hindered, interfering with the automated process.
Technology can strengthen this relationship. Since the process involves the use of sensors, it can be used to detect the state of consciousness, and when there is a deviation, the conscious state can be restored to the optimal state by manipulating the conscious state. This manipulation affects the brain processes, enabling self-regulation to begin in an individual. Additionally, patterns of brain activity can be monitored during the biofeedback process, and individuals can be provided with activities to boost the regulation of body functions (Brennan et al., 2019).
Brennan, L., Dorronzoro Zubiete, E., & Caulfield, B. (2019). Feedback Design in Targeted Exercise Digital Biofeedback Systems for Home Rehabilitation: A Scoping Review. Sensors, 20(1), 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010181
Green, E., & Green, A. (1986). BIOFEEDBACK AND STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Journals.sfu.ca. Retrieved from http://journals.sfu.ca/seemj/index.php/seemj/article/viewFile/278/241.
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What is the relationship between biofeedback and consciousness? What are the limits of this relationship? How could technology strengthen this relationship in the future?
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