Chapter

Some Basic Principles of Psychophysiology

Robert M. Stern, William J. Ray and Karen S. Quigley

in Psychophysiological Recording

Second edition

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195113594
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195113594.003.0005
Some Basic Principles of Psychophysiology

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The basic principles of psychophysiology are generalizations made on the basis of thousands of psychophysiological experiments. A familiarity with these principles will not only provide the reader with information about certain relationships between psychological and physiological variables but will also alert the reader to factors — other than the independent variable — that might influence the data collected in a psychophysiological experiment. This chapter looks at some basic relationships that are of interest in themselves but that sometimes make it difficult to see the effects of other variables being studied or to interpret the results properly. With an understanding of these generalizations, the reader should be better equipped to design new psychophysiological studies and to understand earlier publications. The concepts of arousal and habituation are discussed, along with orienting, defensive, and startle responses, homeostasis and autonomic balance, the law of initial values, stimulus-response specificity, and individual response stereotypy.

Keywords: psychophysiology; arousal; habituation; startle responses; homeostasis; autonomic balance; law of initial values; individual response stereotypy

Chapter.  6759 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychology

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