NEW MIND, NEW BODY: Bio-Feedback: New Directions for the Mind by Barbara B. Brown

NEW MIND, NEW BODY: Bio-Feedback: New Directions for the Mind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Whatever wavelength you're on, bio-feedback is an intriguing subject. As Brown -- a pioneer researcher in the field -- suggests, learning to control systems and organs that were thought beyond control has enormous possibilities -- in tension reduction, drugs and drug abuse, psychotherapy, and treatment of neurologic, muscular, cardiovascular, and psychosomatic disorders. But she steers a circuitous course in trying to remain a responsible scientist, at the same time severely criticizing her professional colleagues for their use of classical and operant conditioning models, which, she argues, are inadequate for bio-feedback research. Occasionally she rants against ""the feudal lords of academia,"" the big money men who tried to buy bio-feedback out, the popularizers of ""instant Zen,"" or the abuses of polygraphers. Much, though intelligible, is esoteric: how experiments with curare (a muscle relaxant) helped mice to control their heart rates; how blue light, rather than green or red aids in producing alpha waves; how the subject's anxiety may affect the interpreter's data. Brown suggests that ""the will"" is the mechanism at work: the concept needs more amplification than she provides. A thorough, professional book, marred by temperament.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row