The Biolab lets you easily collect physiological measurements.  It is very useful when you want to measure the physical response of the subject following some stimulus.  There are no limits to the types of experiments which could use the equipment.  The instruments are computer based are controlled by menu choices.  It will even calculate your data and graph the results!

The Modules

There are different instruments called modules for different physiological responses.  You might use just one or you might choose to use several measurements and graph the results on the same graph for comparison.

        1. Electroencephologram  --  EEG
        2. Electromylocardiogram  --  EMG
        3. Temperature
        4. Galvanic Skin Response  --  GSR
        5. Heart Rate
Possible applications for different modules:
      1. Seeing the change in heart rate during and after exercise.
      2. Testing emotional response to stimuli using the Galvanic Skin Response.
      3. Training a subject to increase the temperature of their hand through relaxation exercises or procedures.
      4. Checking for physiological changes during any task -- usually you would be looking for stress/relaxation.

Previous Studies by UMF Students

    1. Comparing the brainwaves of experienced meditators to those just learning to meditate.
    2. Seeing the effects of timed versus untimed tasks on the GSR.
    3. Comparing the effects of different types of music on heart rate and temperature.
    4. Recording the GSR while subjects read a short news article.

The Biolab is located in my office.  There is a comfortable chair for your subjects to use when doing relaxation and biofeedback studies.  You might want to choose a different chair if you are having your subjects do a task, read, or listen to some stimuli.  Just sitting in the chair will begin the relaxation process for many people.  It is a possible extraneous variable in some studies.

The lab assistant will be happy to help you run subjects until you feel comfortable doing so.  My office can be reserved for your study with some advance notice.  We'll even put the papers away for you!

You should print your graphs in my office using the Epson dot matrix printer.  It will also print out the data summary for each session.  Please check out the printing before you run subjects so we can be sure that the ribbon is good and you know how it works.

There is an extensive collection of biofeedback literature on the white shelves behind the printers.  You may sign out books if you don't have time to finish reading in my office.


© Marilyn Shea, November 1999
Department of Psychology, University of Maine at Farmington