Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W73
CE Offered: BACB
Operant-Based EMG Biofeedback for the Treatment of Cerebral Palsy and Spinal Cord Injuries
Saturday, May 29, 2010
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Presidio C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Jennifer Crockett, Ph.D.
GARY AMES (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), RICHARD WEISSMAN (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), JOSEPH D. CAUTILLI (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners)
Description: In the late 1960s, Bernard Brucker developed an electromyography (EMG) biofeedback system method to progressively re-educate muscle response. EMG biofeedback is an operant conditioning method which detects subtle physiological signals and provides information about that signal to trainees as audio or visual feedback. With repititon, trial and error, and reinforcement, the rewarding stimuli gradully build new behavioral repetiores. In the case of those with impaired motor functioning, this retraning permits quieting of spastic muscles and discovering new neural pathways for muscular function. Through biofeedback, operant conditioning techniques help the patient learn greater control over the EMG signals to the muscle. In this way biofeedback can restore functional control over paretic or damaged muscles. Some research has shown that biofeedback of motor neuron activity can allow individuals with spinal cord injury to regain lost neuromuscular function and those with cerebral palsy to develop functioning they did not have prior to the intervention. This treatment received a lot of research during the 1990s and has been shown to be effectve in establishing new responses. Once learned, these increases in and coordination of motor neuron recruitment are permanent.
Learning Objectives: The workshop has the following learning objectives: 1. Particpants will grasp the research basis of neuromuscular re-education with EMG biofeedback. 2. Particpants will describe several ways damaged motor neuron connections can be rehabilitated. 3. Participants will get a beginners expereince with treatment using EGM biofeedback. 4. Participants will place EMG biofeedback into the larger model of behavioral medicine that helps identify voluntary muscle control.
Activities: Activities will include a lecture and hands-on biofeedback training.
Audience: Applied behavior analysts, behavioral psychologists, and rehabilation specialists.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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