Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

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Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
HeadquartersWheat Ridge, CO
John Arena, PhD

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) was founded in 1969 as the Biofeedback Research Society (BRS). The association aims to promote understanding of biofeedback and advance the methods used in this practice. AAPB is a non-profit organization as defined in Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. [1]



AAPB aims to advance the development, dissemination and utilization of knowledge about applied psychophysiology and biofeedback to improve health and the quality of life through research, education and practice. [1]

AAPB's aims include:

Definition of biofeedback

The American Psychological Association has named biofeedback as a clinical proficiency. [2]

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the Biofeedback Certification Institution of America (BCIA), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) approved the following definition of biofeedback on May 18, 2008:

Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument. [1]


Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback is a journal devoted to study of the interrelationship of physiological systems, cognition, social and environmental parameters, and health. Priority is given to original research which contributes to the theory, practice, and evaluation of applied psychophysiology and biofeedback. Other sections are for conceptual and theoretical articles; evaluative reviews; the Clinical Forum, which includes case studies, clinical replication series, treatment protocols, and clinical notes and observations; the Discussion Forum; innovations in instrumentation; letters to the editor, comments on issues raised in articles; and book reviews. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback is a publication of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Frank Andrasik serves as the journal's editor. [3]

Biofeedback: A Clinical Journal

Biofeedback: A Clinical Journal is a peer-reviewed, quarterly online journal for biofeedback practitioners, educators, health and mental health professionals, and researchers in psychophysiology. Biofeedback includes reports on advances in biofeedback, neurofeedback, self-regulation strategies, sports physiology, personal and occupational wellness, peak performance in the arts, and scientific psychophysiology.

Biofeedback also publishes articles on practice standards and ethical principles in research and practice, feature articles on uses of biofeedback, and case studies illustrating use of mind-body therapies and principles. Priority is given to programs of research, innovative clinical programs, and technical advances. The journal also publishes historical and biographical articles on biofeedback and psychophysiology; reviews of the development of biofeedback in international settings; innovations in instrumentation and software; and book reviews. Biofeedback: A Clinical Journal is an official publication of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Don Moss serves as the journal's editor. [4]

Teleseminar Series

AAPB Teleseminars present findings in topics of interest to biofeedback and neurofeedback professionals like Battle Trauma and Neurons and Neurotransmitters. Teleseminars are approved by the APA and Nursing Association, and most last 90 minutes, providing 1.5 hours of CE Credit. Telesminars allow professionals to earn all of the CE credits needed for professional licensure and BCIA renewal. [5]


Membership in AAPB is open to professionals interested in the investigation and application of applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, and in the scientific and professional advancement of the field. The AAPB has grown to more than 2,000 members representing the fields of psychology, medicine, nursing, social work, counseling, physical therapy, education, and other health care areas. Corporations can support AAPB through their Corporate Membership. There are many state chapters, and the association has members in several countries. [6]


Allied Professionals Section

The Applied Professionals Section was formed to create an alliance of biofeedback professionals in order to support recognition of unlicensed biofeedback practitioners. Members include biofeedback professionals who are researchers, rehabilitation specialists, educators, stress management counselors, health care specialists, and other biofeedback consultants who are not recognized under a specific license. The Allied Professionals Section accepts unlicensed biofeedback practitioners, regardless of their specialty (EMG, EEG or general). [7]

Applied Respiratory Psychophysiology Section

The Applied Respiratory Psychophysiology Section promotes scientific and clinical activities in the area of respiratory retraining for treating psychological and physical symptoms, and the management of respiratory diseases. The section fosters research on the causes and effects of hyperventilation and effects of respiratory rhythms on other physiological systems including the body's homeostatic reflexes. [7]

Education Section

The Education Section is the oldest within AAPB. The section focuses on assisting biofeedback professionals as educators and supporting applications of biofeedback in an educational setting.

The section embarked on a project in 2008 to redefine its mission and function within AAPB. Included in the section's proposed initiatives is the development of a web-based “link” that will enable the exchange of information between AAPB's stakeholders. The first phase of implementation for the link project is planned as a component of AAPB's larger website renovation, and will involve coordinating information about planned educational programs amongst AAPB and its state, regional, and international chapters. [7]

International Section

The International Section fosters the promotion of scientific research and clinical practice; promotion of high standards of professional practice, peer review, ethics, and education in biofeedback; and dissemination of information about biofeedback to members and the public. Members can be involved in the governance of the section, develop a network of international contacts dealing with similar issues, clarify how AAPB and the section can better meet their needs, and can contribute to the expansion of biofeedback worldwide. [7]

ISMA - USA Stress Management Section

The purpose of the ISMA-USA Stress Management Section is to promote scientific and clinical activities in the application areas of stress management for treating psychological and physical symptoms and management of stress-related disorders. [7]

Mind-Body Medicine Section

Mind-body medicine is an area of research funding by the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). The website is at [ The goal is to increase participation in AAPB by creative thinkers, teachers, researchers and explorers in meditation, distant healing, prayer, hypnosis and imagery, yoga, intuition and dreams, psychoacoustics, qigong, and related areas. [7]

Neurofeedback Division

Neurofeedback Division membership is open to members of AAPB who are interested in research and practice in neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback). The division sponsors activities at the AAPB Annual Meeting, including key speakers and workshops. The Neurofeedback Division Newsletter includes articles on clinical and technical interviews, topics including insurance, ethics, medicolegal issues, and products, systems, and approaches. Articles for the Biofeedback Newsmagazine are also submitted by division members.

Benefits of membership include newsletters and list servs, programs and a dinner at the annual meeting, web-listing opportunities, and access to the AAPB website's member's only area. Sustaining Members receive recognition in the Neurofeedback Newsletter, certificate showing support of Division, and free web link in Member's Only Section of website. [7]

Optimal Functioning Section

The Optimal Functioning Section was organized to discuss and explore uses of biofeedback and applied psychophysiology for optimizing health, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual functioning, and peak performance fields. The section holds a meeting in conjunction with the annual conference, and sponsors invite symposia and presentations from recognized experts. [7]

Performing Arts Psychophysiology Section

The Performing Arts Psychophysiology Section is open to anyone interested in psychophysiology for artists. Members possess a background in art. The section was founded on the premise that the physiological effects of stress threaten artists' health and professional careers. It encourages development of clinical applications, validation of therapies which artists utilize, and testing of arts populations with psychophysiological models. [7]

sEMG/SESNA Division

The Surface EMG Division within AAPB began as the Surface EMG Society of North America (SESNA). The aim is to promote the use of surface electromyography techniques within the context of applied psychophysiology. They provide a track at the AAPB Annual Meeting, workshops, and internet dialogue on members’ interests. [7]

State, Regional, and International Chapters

State Chapters

Regional Chapters

International Chapters


The Biofeedback Research Society (BRS) was founded in 1969. The BRS was renamed the Biofeedback Society of America (BSA) in 1976 and the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) in 1989. [8]

Executive Directors

1969 to 2009 - Francine Butler, PhD, CAE, CMP 2007 to 2010 - David L. Stumph, IOM, CAE

Past presidents

2008 - Aubrey Ewing
2007 - Alan Glaros
2006 - Richard Gevirtz
2005 - Richard Sherman
2004 - Steve Baskin
2003 - Lynda Kirk
2002 - Paul Lehrer
2001 - Donald Moss
2000 - Doil Montgomery
1999 - Dale Walters
1998 - Ian Wickramasekera
1997 - Sebastian Striefel
1996 - Joel F. Lubar
1995 - Angele McGrady
1994 - Michael McKee
1993 - Frank Andrasik
1992 - Paula B. Amar
1991 - Steven L. Wolf
1990 - J. Peter Rosenfeld
1989 - Susan Middaugh
1988 - M. Barry Sterman
1987 - Mark Schwartz
1986 - Carol Schneider
1985 - Patricia Norris
1984 - Neal Miller
1983 - John D. Rugh
1982 - Steven L. Fahrion
1981 - Bernard T. Engel
1980 - Edward Taub
1979 - John Basmajian
1978 - Elmer Green
1977 - Charles Stroebel
1976 - Erik Peper
1975 - Joe Kamiya
1974 - Thomas H. Budzynski
1973 - Gary Schwartz
1971 to 1972 - Johann Stoyva
1970 to 1971 - Thomas Mulholland
1969 to 1970 - Barbara Brown, [9]

AAPB Foundation

The AAPB Foundation was formed in 1985 at the urging of then AAPB president, Neal Miller. Miller believed that the organization should encourage the interest and application of work by students to demonstrate the efficacy of biofeedback techniques. Presently, the foundation annually supports travel scholarships to students whose papers have been accepted for presentation at the annual meeting.

The Foundation for Education and Research in Biofeedback and Related Sciences initiated a program aimed at stimulating biofeedback research at its 2009 Board meeting. The board established funding for three grants at $1,000 each. Eligibility is limited to graduate students doing research in biofeedback and related fields. The award is accompanied by a travel scholarship and a waiver of registration to attend the AAPB annual meeting where the results of the research are presented. [10]

Related Research Articles

Biofeedback Process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will

Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions of one's own body, commercially by using electronic or other instruments, and with a goal of being able to manipulate the body's systems at will. Humans conduct biofeedback naturally all the time, at varied levels of consciousness and intentionality. Biofeedback and the biofeedback loop can also be thought of as self-regulation. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception.

Autogenic training is a desensitization-relaxation technique developed by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz by which a psychophysiologically determined relaxation response is obtained. The technique was first published in 1932. Studying the self-reports of people immersed in a hypnotic state, J.H. Schultz noted that physiological changes are accompanied by certain feelings. Abbé Faria and Émile Coué are the forerunners of Schultz. The technique involves repetitions of a set of visualisations that induce a state of relaxation and is based on passive concentration of bodily perceptions, which are facilitated by self-suggestions. The technique is used to alleviate many stress-induced psychosomatic disorders.

American Society for Microbiology

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), originally the Society of American Bacteriologists, is a professional organization for scientists who study viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa as well as other aspects of microbiology. It was founded in 1899. The Society publishes a variety of scientific journals, textbooks, and other educational materials related to microbiology and infectious diseases. ASM organizes annual meetings, as well as workshops and professional development opportunities for its members.


Neurofeedback (NFB), also called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography (EEG)—in an attempt to teach self-regulation of brain function. Typically, sensors are placed on the scalp to measure electrical activity, with measurements displayed using video displays or sound. There is significant evidence supporting neurotherapy for generalized treatment of mental disorders and has been practiced over four decades, although never gaining prominence in the medical mainstream. NFB is relatively non-invasive and is administered as a long term treatment option, typically taking a month to complete. It is estimated over 15,000 clinicians, world-wide are using this technology.

Mind machine

A mind machine uses pulsing rhythmic sound, flashing light, electrical or magnetic fields, or a combination of these, to alter the frequency of the user's brainwaves. Mind machines can induce deep states of relaxation, concentration, and in some cases altered states of consciousness, which have been compared to those obtained from meditation and shamanic exploration. Photic mind machines work with flickering lights embedded in sunglasses or a lamp that sits on a tripod above your head or facing you. You then "Watch" with your eyes closed.

Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. Psychological factors can affect health directly. For example, chronically occurring environmental stressors affecting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, cumulatively, can harm health. Behavioral factors can also affect a person's health. For example, certain behaviors can, over time, harm or enhance health. Health psychologists take a biopsychosocial approach. In other words, health psychologists understand health to be the product not only of biological processes but also of psychological, behavioral, and social processes.

Behavioral medicine is concerned with the integration of knowledge in the biological, behavioral, psychological, and social sciences relevant to health and illness. These sciences include epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, neuroanatomy, endocrinology, and immunology. The term is often used interchangeably, but incorrectly, with health psychology. The practice of behavioral medicine encompasses health psychology, but also includes applied psychophysiological therapies such as biofeedback, hypnosis, and bio-behavioral therapy of physical disorders, aspects of occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine, and physiatry, as well as preventive medicine. In contrast, health psychology represents a stronger emphasis specifically on psychology's role in both behavioral medicine and behavioral health.

Journey to Wild Divine was a biofeedback video game system promoting stress management and overall wellness through the use of breathing, meditation and relaxation exercises. The graphics and interface resemble Myst. The designers refer to the product as "biofeedback software", considering it an entertaining training tool for mind and body health, rather than a "game".

Barbara B. Brown (1921–1999) was a research psychologist who popularized biofeedback and neurofeedback in the 1970s. Biofeedback Magazine, a publication of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), noted that she was "among the first and most successful to make the public aware of the power and potential of biofeedback."

John V. Basmajian, was a Canadian academic and scientist. He was known for his work in rehabilitation science, specifically in the area of electromyography and biofeedback.

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) was formed in 1982 by the amalgamation of the British Thoracic Association and the Thoracic Society. It is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Neurofeedback (NFB), also called neurotherapy, neurobiofeedback or EEG biofeedback (EEGBF) is a therapy technique that presents the user with real-time information about activity within their brain, as measured by electrical or blood-flow sensors on the scalp. Brain activity is monitored and processed to provide feedback to the user in one of several ways, for example a video game rocket ship might accelerate when desired brainwaves are produced, or a film or music might pause when undesired brainwaves are produced.

The Applied Neuroscience Society of Australasia (ANSA) is a non-profit professional organization for applied neuroscience in Australia, with members in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Stephen Porges

Stephen W. Porges is a "Distinguished University Scientist" at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University Bloomington and professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Professor Porges directed the Brain-Body Center in the department of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also held appointments in the departments of psychology and bioEngineering, and worked as an adjunct in the department of neuroscience which he found suited him and it became his priority. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Porges served as chair of the department of human development and director of the institute for child study. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, a consortium of societies representing approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He was a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development award. He has chaired the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, maternal and child health research committee and was a visiting scientist in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Laboratory of Comparative Ethology. He was awarded a patent on a methodology to describe neural regulation of the heart, and today is a lead neuroscientist with particular interests in cranial nerve responses as it relates to both animal and man in which there are specified responses that are physiological in the body. He proposed the polyvagal theory in 1994 providing insight into the mechanism mediating symptoms observed in the brain. The theory has stimulated research and treatments emphasizing the importance of physiological state and behavioral regulation.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 with 28 members. Of them, 21 were graduates of medical schools, but only 12 had studied in institutions that had a professor of physiology. Today, it has 10,500 members, most of whom hold doctoral degrees in medicine, physiology or other health professions. Its mission then, as now, is to support research, education, and circulation of information in the physiological sciences.

Thomas Hice Budzynski was an American psychologist and a pioneer in the field of biofeedback, inventing one of the first electromyographic biofeedback training systems in the mid-1960s. In the early 1970s, he developed the Twilight Learner in collaboration with John Picchiottino. The Twilight Learner was one of the first neurotherapy systems.

The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance was created in 1981 as a non-profit organization. BCIA is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). BCIA certifies individuals who meet education and training standards in biofeedback and neurofeedback and progressively recertifies those who satisfy continuing education requirements. BCIA certification has been endorsed by the Mayo Clinic, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR), and the Washington State Legislature.

Jeffrey M. Drazen was the editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine from 2000 to 2019. He currently holds the positions of senior physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Distinguished Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, professor of physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and adjunct professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Ferrara and the University of Athens.

Cindy Meston

Cindy Meston is a Canadian/American clinical psychologist well-known for her research on the psychophysiology of female sexual arousal. She is a Full Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, Director of the Female Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory, and author of Why Women Have Sex. In 2016, the BBC, London, England named Meston one of the 100 most influential and inspirational women in the world.

Bioelectromagnetic medicine deals with the phenomenon of resonance signaling and discusses how specific frequencies modulate cellular function to restore or maintain health. Such electromagnetic (EM) signals are then called "medical information" that is used in health informatics.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "What is Biofeedback?". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  2. Neblett, R., Shaffer, F., & Crawford, J. (2008). What is the value of Biofeedback Certification Institute of America certification? Biofeedback, 36(3), 92-94.
  3. "Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  4. "Biofeedback: A Clinical Journal". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  5. "Teleseminars". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  6. "Membership". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Interest Groups, Sections & Division Descriptions". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  8. Schwartz, M. S., & Olson, R. Paul (2003). A historical perspective on the field of biofeedback and applied psychophysiology. In M. S. Schwartz, & F. Andrasik (Eds.). Biofeedback: A practitioner's guide (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.
  9. "Past Presidents". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  10. "AAPB Foundation". Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22.