Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Alan Leschied

Abstract

Positive outcomes linked to experiences of altered states of consciousness (ASC) have been linked to various brain wave patterns, as well as both positive and negative personality traits and affective disorders. Various innovative neurofeedback (NFB) technologies are being developed in an attempt to create adjunctive therapeutic treatments. The current study investigated 1-20 Hz NFB to induce ASC and examine associations between NFB, ASC, mood changes, and trait predictors. 23 students completed trait measures of emotionality, openness and extroversion from the HEXACO test of personality and a measure of trait absorption. Participants then completed 15min of NFB. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered before and after the NFB session and the Altered States of Consciousness Questionnaire (OAV) at the end of session. Elevated levels of trait emotionality and absorption were associated with the subscale of disembodiment on the OAV. POMS scores indicated significant reductions in vigor and a significant increase in fatigue and confusion from pre-to post NFB. An overall decrease in 1-20Hz was seen pre-vs post intervention globally, with an increase in 1-20Hz during the intervention as measured at the NFB training site. Positive correlations were seen between EEG and OAV scores for the subscale disembodiment, with global changes between time one and time five during the intervention. EEG readings taken at the active training site demonstrated a positive correlation with trait emotionality and with the subscale spirituality. Qualitative feedback indicated that 70% of participants reported a positive response to neurofeedback, with 17% reporting negative effects, including feeling tired; often associated with over training, 14% reported having no response. 1-20Hz evidenced potentially therapeutic effects and warrants further investigation.


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