The Society for Psychophysiological Research is an international scientific organization with over 800 members worldwide. The society is composed of scientists whose research is focused on the study of the interrelationships between the physiological and psychological aspects of behavior.
“The body is the medium of experience and the instrument of action. Through its actions we shape and organize our experiences and distinguish our perceptions of the outside world from sensations that arise within the body itself.” (Jonathan Miller, The Body in Question, 1978)
Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller, CBE is an English theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist, and medical doctor. After training in medicine, and specialising in neurology, in the late 1950s, he came to prominence in the early 1960s in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett.
Like anatomy and physiology, psychophysiology is a branch of science interested in bodily systems. However, anatomy is primarily concerned with body structures and relationships amongst structures, and physiology is primarily interested in the function of these structures or systems—or with how different parts of the body work. Psychophysiological research covers both of these concerns, but is also interested in connecting anatomy and physiology with psychological phenomena.In other words, psychophysiological research can consist of the study of social, psychological, and/or behavioral phenomena as they are reflected in the body. A great deal of psychophysiological research has focused on the physiological instantiation of emotion, but with increased access to measures of the central nervous system, psychophysiological research has also examined cognitive processes.
Anatomy is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its beginnings in prehistoric times. Anatomy is inherently tied to developmental biology, embryology, comparative anatomy, evolutionary biology, and phylogeny, as these are the processes by which anatomy is generated over immediate (embryology) and long (evolution) timescales. Anatomy and physiology, which study (respectively) the structure and function of organisms and their parts, make a natural pair of related disciplines, and they are often studied together. Human anatomy is one of the essential basic sciences that are applied in medicine.
Physiology is the scientific study of the functions and mechanisms which work within a living system.
Psychophysiology is the branch of psychology that is concerned with the physiological bases of psychological processes. While psychophysiology was a general broad field of research in the 1960s and 1970s, it has now become quite specialized, and has branched into subspecializations such as social psychophysiology, cardiovascular psychophysiology, cognitive psychophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience.
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is one of the two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the parasympathetic nervous system.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) is one of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the sympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body's unconscious actions. The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of "rest-and-digest" or "feed and breed" activities that occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation. Its action is described as being complementary to that of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.
As late as the 1950s, the field of psychophysiology was not a fully unified discipline. Psychophysiologists published in multiple non-specialist journals and were often not abreast of their colleagues’ work. However, in 1955, the influential early psychophysiologist Albert F. Ax (1913-1994) began circulating The Psychophysiology Newsletter, a slight collection of methodological observations and bibliographies for various psychophysiological methods. The first volume was free to subscribers, and for several years the newsletter circulated to fewer than 50 members.
Nonetheless, his work on the newsletter allowed Ax to organize and open communication amongst psychophysiologists from across North America. Through his work, the discipline and field of psychophysiology began to cohere. Scientists were better able to communicate not only their scientific findings, but also methodological advances they’d made in what was—at the time—a relatively crude and fledgling science. In the 1950s, Ax also began arranging formal meetings of these early psychophysiologists in what became known as the “Psychophysiology Group.” For several years, the group met regularly at the annual American Psychological Association conference. And at the 1959 meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, the group decided to establish its own society, in part in order to oversee the transformation of The Psychophysiology Newsletter into a peer-reviewed scientific journal (which became the journal Psychophysiology ).Aside from Ax, many scientists who became officers of the fledgling society were present, including R.C. Davis (chair of the organizing board), Marion Augustus “Gus” Wenger, Robert Edelberg, Martine Orne, Clinton C. Brown, and William W. Grings. The society took the name Society for Psychophysiological Research, and since its first informal gatherings, has grown to over 800 members worldwide and has held 51 annual meetings in North America and Europe.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, with around 117,500 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. The APA has an annual budget of around $115m. There are 54 divisions of the APA—interest groups covering different subspecialties of psychology or topical areas.
Psychophysiology is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. The current editor-in-chief is Monica Fabiani.
Roland Clark Davis was an American psychologist recognized for his innovation in instrumentation and measurement of electrophysiological phenomena. Davis contributed to the measurement of electrodermal activity, gastric reflexes, and muscle action potentials. Davis published over 70 articles on psychophysiology and related topics across a 30-year career and mentored many graduate students at Indiana University Bloomington from 1931 through 1961.
The society continues to publish Psychophysiology ,an influential monthly peer-reviewed journal interested in advancing psychophysiological science and human neuroscience, covering research on the interrelationships between the physiological and psychological aspects of brain and behavior.
The annual meeting of Society for Psychophysiological Research is attended by scientists from around the world. The meeting includes presentations of new theory, methods, and research in the form of invited addresses, symposia, poster sessions, and Presidential and Award addresses.At each meeting, the society also typically offers preconference workshops on specific topics or methodological advances. Topics covered in the 2011 preconference workshops included a bootcamp on Event-related potential Methodologies, Genetic Approaches to the Biology of Complex Traits, and Fundamentals of Pupillary Measures and Eye tracking. Recent meetings have been held in Portland, OR, Berlin, Germany, Vancouver, British Columbia, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Florence, Italy. Meetings have been scheduled to be held at various locations around the world.
Award funds graduate students and post-doctoral students who wish to obtain training in psychophysiology which falls outside of the scope of their home labs.
Award signals excellence in research presented in a poster format by a student member.
Vaginal photoplethysmography is a technique using light to measure the amount of blood in the walls of the vagina. The device that is used is called a vaginal photometer.
An electrogastrogram (EGG) is a graphic produced by an electrogastrograph, which records the electrical signals that travel through the stomach muscles and control the muscles' contractions. An electrogastroenterogram is a similar procedure, which writes down electric signals not only from the stomach, but also from intestines.
Social neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field devoted to understanding how biological systems implement social processes and behavior, and to using biological concepts and methods to inform and refine theories of social processes and behavior. Humans are fundamentally a social species, rather than individualists. As such, Homo sapiens create emergent organizations beyond the individual—structures that range from dyads, families, and groups to cities, civilizations, and cultures. These emergent structures evolved hand in hand with neural and hormonal mechanisms to support them because the consequent social behaviors helped these organisms survive, reproduce, and care for offspring sufficiently long that they too survived to reproduce. The term "social neuroscience" can be traced to a publication entitled "Social Neuroscience Bulletin" that was published quarterly between 1988 and 1994. The term was subsequently popularized in an article by John Cacioppo and Gary Berntson, published in the American Psychologist in 1992. Cacioppo and Berntson are considered as the legitimate fathers of social neuroscience. Still a young field, social neuroscience is closely related to affective neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on how the brain mediates social interactions. The biological underpinnings of social cognition are investigated in social cognitive neuroscience
Barbara B. Brown (1921–1999) was a research psychologist who popularized biofeedback and neurofeedback in the 1970s. "Brown was the biofeedback field's most prolific writer and most successful popularizer," said one Amazon review. Her colleagues agreed. 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."
Tonic in physiology refers to a physiological response which is slow and may be graded. This term is typically used in opposition to a fast response. For instance, tonic muscles are contrasted by the more typical and much faster twitch muscles, while tonic sensory nerve endings are contrasted to the much faster phasic sensory nerve endings.
Jochen Fahrenberg is a German psychologist in the fields of Personality, psychophysiology and philosophy of science.
John Terrence Cacioppo was the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He founded the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience and the Director of the Arete Initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Research and National Laboratories at the University of Chicago. He co-founded the field of social neuroscience and was member of the Department of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, and the College until his death in March 2018.
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.
Gary Berntson is professor at Ohio State University with appointments in the departments of psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics. He is an expert in psychophysiology, neuroscience, biological psychology, and with his colleague John Cacioppo, a founding father of social neuroscience. His research attempts to elucidate the functional organization of brain mechanisms underlying behavioral and affective processes, with a special emphasis on social cognition.
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, 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. In 1994 he proposed the polyvagal theory 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.
Physioeconomics is an extension of experimental economics research that collects physiological parameters in addition to recording behavior. These measures can include skin conductance, blood pressure and the pulse of the subject. Experiments typically present subjects with economic decisions in a game–like context.
Norman Bruce Anderson is an American scientist who was a tenured professor studying health disparities and mind/body health, and later an executive in government, non-profit, university sectors. Anderson is Assistant Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs, and Research Professor of Social Work and Nursing at Florida State University. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association (APA), the largest scientific and professional association for psychologists in the United States. Anderson became the APA's first African-American CEO when he was named to the post in 2003. He was the editor for the APA journal American Psychologist. Prior to joining APA, Anderson was an Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and held other roles in academia.
Walton Thompson "Tom" Roth is an American psychiatrist and psychophysiological researcher. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and was Chief of the Psychiatric Consultation Service at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System for over 40 years.
In psychology, the positivity offset is a phenomenon where people tend to interpret neutral situations as mildly positive, and rate their lives as good, most of the time. The positivity offset stands in notable asymmetry to the negativity bias.
Arthur Bienenstock is a former president of the American Physical Society, serving in that role in 2008. He is also the former director (1978–1998) of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. He is professor emeritus of Photon Science at Stanford University. He was Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Stanford University from 2003 until 2006. He received his B.S. in 1955 and M.S. in 1957 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and a Ph.D. in 1962 from Harvard University. He was a recipient of the 2018 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.
The British Sleep Society. (BSS) was set up in 1989 to support clinicians, researchers, nurses, technologists, scientists and students with an interest in sleep and sleep disorders. It acts as an umbrella organisation, with a number of roles and activities. The Society advises health services policy through submitting evidence for consideration by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The Society runs an influential scientific meeting each year dedicated to sleep disorders and sleep research and jointly parents annually an international education course for sleep technologists and clinicians. The Society has charitable status, and operates throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Society is approached by the media, fund raisers, commerce and concerned members of the public for support and advice
John J. Furedy was a Hungarian-born Australian and Canadian psychophysiologist and distinguished research professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, noted for his extensive empirical research into the unreliability of the polygraph test in lie detection and similar problems associated with biofeedback, as well as addressing contemporary issues concerning academic freedom.
Frances K. Graham (1918–2013) was an American psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Delaware, where she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1988.