Biofeedback in sport

Authored by: Boris Blumenstein , Ernest Tsung-Min Hung

Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138022423
eBook ISBN: 9781315777054
Adobe ISBN: 9781317692324


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The concept of biofeedback (BFB) was introduced during the end of the 1960s. From the beginning BFB became a popular and useful tool, with tremendous potential in various professional fields of applied sport psychology and practices of athletic peak performance. The basic idea of BFB is to provide individuals with immediate biological information about what is going inside their body, including their brain (Schwartz, 1979). For this purpose, various types of sensitive electronic instrumentations (or modalities) are used to get feedback through physiological signal recording. The modalities include: EEG (brain activity), EMG (muscle activity), T (skin temperature), R (respiration), BP (blood pressure), EDR (electrodermal response), and HR, HRV (cardiovascular activity). Using a variety of BFB modalities, individuals can observe the relationship of their current psychological state and physiological response. In this chapter the current state of research in the field of BFB is described, the integration of biofeedback training (BFBT) with other psychological strategies is discussed, BFBT as part of psychological skills training (PST) is presented, and finally, suggestions for the future development of BFB in sport are provided.

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