Psychophysiology: a distinct branch of neurosciences

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  • 132 Abstracts 7th IOP Scientific Meeting /International Journal of Psychophysiology 18 (1994) 87-159

    From the vast and wide extended motor repertoire of fight, flight, food intake, exploratory and manipulative behav- iours, which could have been activated during the execu- tion of these paradigms, only a small and unrepresentative sample has been chosen to represent the peripheral state, the isolated finger movement. During the forewarning pe- riod, for example when the CNV develops, the excitability of the spinal monosynaptic reflexes increases, the heart rate decreases and the pupil diameter changes. In most of the literature all these changes are ignored and conclusions about the cognitive nature of the CNV are drowned by correlating its amplitude with the time taken to respond, by a finger movement, to an appropriate stimulus. Yet it may be argued that the CNV reflects some of the processes re- lated to the organisation of this complicated response pat- tern. It has been proposed that nervous systems have been evolved to refine the control of action as the main means of survival of the individual and the species. It may be that perceptual and cognitive functions can be understood as re- finements of the process engaged in the control of motor action. Results from a series of experiments involving the CNV, the BP, the P300 potentials, SPP and NlOO potentials, together with other potentials will be presented and inter- preted from the point of view of the control of action hy- pothesis. Such a possibility suggests the need for new ex- perimental paradigms to study the nervous system and its interactions with the environment.

    Psychophysiology: a distinct branch of neuro- sciences D. Papakostopoulos, E/ectra~ingnostic Department, Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK

    There are many national and international psychophys- iology societies, There are numerous national and interna- tional congresses on psychophysiology. There is a plurality of international journals having the term psychophysiology in their title. Hundreds of papers each year are published in those journals. It is reasonable then to conclude that psy- chophysiology, as a concept, has broad appeal. The tech- niques employed to collect the data presented in congresses and published articles extends from one-channel or mul- ti-channel recordings of electrodermal and electrocardio- vascular activities, to brain electrical activities from hu- mans and animals registered by surface or implanted elec- trodes. The issues discussed in these papers are diverse and may be psychophysical, neurological, psychiatric. educa- tional or social. The common element in all this diversity appears to be the hypothesis that holistic quantification of function may offer alternative and new insights in human behaviour to those offered by structural quantification. black box theorising. or the analytical. single unit, neu-

    rosciences. However the theoretical and clinical advantag- es obtained by the holisticelectrobiological quantification approach of psychophysiology, have not yet been system atically evaluated and the method of psychophysiology as a science has not yet been explicitly stated. A search of in- ternational psychological, neurophysiological, medical, and even psychophysiological journals has revealed very few advertisements for personnel to be employed in psy- chophysiology either in hospitals or in industry or even in universities. Psychophysiology as a profession seems to be lacking both demand and job specifications.

    The lack of job specification, the undefined methodolo- gy and the diversity of psychophysiological research pre- vents the emergence of a cohesive movement with defined purposes and mechanism of self-assessment. This may have as a result negative implications both in the advance- ment of the distinct scientific and clinical outlook of psy- chophysiology and limits the background for financial sup- port from national or international institutions and from the industry.

    Scotopic electroretinogram to blue flashes and pattern reversal visual evoked potentials in insu- lin dependent diabetes D. Papakostopoulos , J.C. Dean Heart , R.J.M. Corral1 ,

    B. Hamey a, J. Roland . a Bristol Eye Hospital, Lowe, Mnmflin Street, Bristol, UK, h Electroclingnostic Depart- ment, Bristol Eye Hospital, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol, UK, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK

    The pattern VEPs. the electroretinogram (ERG) to blue flashes of light during dark adaptation, the steady state ERG to 40 Hz flicker and the pupillogram were studied in 56 juvenile onset diabetics, 34 of whom had no ophthalmo- scopic or photographic evidence of diabetic retinopathy (DR(-) group). The remaining 22 had mild background retinopathy (DR(+) group). Normal data were obtained from 24 subjects matched for age and sex with diabetes. Skin electrodes were used for all recordings. The scotopic b wave of the ERG was significantly lower in amplitude in the DR(-) diabetics and it was even more reduced in the DR(+) group. The PR-VEP was significantly delayed in the diabetics but there was no difference between the two groups. The steady state ERG was not significantly differ- ent between normals and diabetics. These findings indicate that there can be retinal and more central abnormalities in diabetics. Detection of objective electrophysiological ab- normalities may be used to identify persons at risk of de- veloping retinopathy and to monitor effects of treatment.


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