Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor Arthur Cott
A behavioral method for reducing the rate of seizure emission in epileptic outpatients was investigated. This procedure - operant conditioning of the electroencephalographic sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) with time-outs for epileptiform activity and large amplitude electromyographic activity - has been successfully applied to a variety of seizure disorders. Results from the first study reported in this thesis showed that neither SMR reinforcement nor changes in SMR density are necessary or sufficient for decreasing seizure frequency, and that changes in parameters of time-out activity are unrelated to changes in seizure rate. A second long-term study indicated that time-outs for either high- or low-voltage scalp electromyographic activity produced equivalent and significant reduction in seizure rate. Informal observations supplemented by pretraining psychometric test data and daily self-monitoring data suggest that the operant conditioning procedure effects clinical results by modifying subjects' behaviors in situations realted to seizure occurrence.
Pavloski, Raymond Paul, "Reduction of Human Epileptic Seizure Rate Via Operant Conditioning of Scalp Bioelectric Activity" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 682.