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June 17, 1974

Biofeedback: Behavioral Medicine

Author Affiliations

Chicago Medical School Chicago

JAMA. 1974;228(12):1592. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230370074038

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In a field that has suffered because of false and misleading claims and commercial exploitation, it is refreshing to find a book that will put biofeedback in its proper perspective for the practicing physician. Mathematician Norbert Weiner, who coined the term, defined feedback as "a method of controlling the system by reinserting into it the results of its past performance." Biofeedback is accomplished when a biological system is mediated by man-made detections, amplification, and display instruments. The development of instrumental techniques that can bring previously involuntary bodily activities under voluntary control represents a major new frontier for clinical medicine and psychiatry.

The book is divided into 13 chapters written by various pioneers in the field. The opening chapters provide an adequate introduction and scientific orientation for the physician who has no previous knowledge of biofeedback, and the sections on clinical applications will whet the interest of those who are psychologically