Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Edward K. Crossman


Numerous agencies have accumulated evidence since 1964 which implicates habitual cigarette smoking as a causal or facilitating factor in the development of many circulatory and respiratory diseases. This study sought to identify those psychological variables which possibly contribute to the maintenance of cigarette smoking and therefore, had two main purposes. First, this study investigated the individual and simultaneous physiological changes, i.e., Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure and Skin Temperature that occurred during and immediately after the smoking of one cigarette. Second, the study investigated the hypothesis that smoking frequency would decrease when individuals were trained via biofeedback procedures to increase 8-12 Hz occipital EEG activity as a substitute for smoking.

Three male, very heavy smokers (35 or more cigarettes per day ) and three male moderate smokers (15-24 cigarettes per day) physiologies were monitored while smoking, non-smoking and while they were provided with 8-12 Hz occipital EEG biofeedback training using a multiple baseline design. Results of the study indicate that of the six smokers physiologically monitored, four or more of the smokers demonstrated the following physiological changes while actually smoking one cigarette: the percent of time producing 4-8 cycles per second bra .in waves increased (S2 ,S3 ,S5); heart rate (beats per minute) increased (Sl,S2,S3,S4,S5,S6); and the percent of time producing 8-12 cycles per second (Hz) brain waves decreased (Sl,S2,S3,S4,S5,S6).

Immediately after the smoking of one cigarette, four or more of the smokers demonstrated an increase in their rates (Sl,S2,S3,S4,S5, S6) and subjects 1,4,5 and 6 demonstrated an over-the-entire-session decrease in their skin temperatures. There did not appear to be any specific consistent brain wave changes across the subjects. However, the following subject-specific brain wave changes were evident: Subject 1 data indicates an increase in Alpha brain waves (8-12 Hz), a decrease in Theta brain waves (4-8 Hz), and a decrease in Beta brain waves (12-20 Hz). Subject 2 data indicates a decrease in Alpha brain waves, an increase in Theta brain waves, and a decrease in Beta waves. Subject 3 data indicates an Alpha wave decrease, Theta wave increase, and Beta wave increase. Subject 4 data indicates an Alpha wave decrease, Theta wave increase, and no observable change in Beta activity. Subject 5 data indicates an Alpha increase, a Theta decrease, and no observable change in Beta activity. Subject 6 data indicates an Alpha decrease, a non-observable change in Theta production and an increase in Beta activity.

During the training period, when the smokers were given music feedback whenever they produced 8-12 Hz, four of the six smokers learned to increase the percent of time producing 8-12 Hz, (Sl,S2,S5, S6). Two of these four smokers were able to continue producing high levels of 8-12 Hz activity without the use of biofeedback equipment (Sl,S2). These smokers had quit smoking completely at the end of a six-month follow-up period. These two smokers were contacted by phone at the eight-month follow-up period and reported they were still absent from any cigarette smoking. The four smokers who could not increase their 8-12 Hz activity without the use of 8-12 Hz auditory feedback (Phase D) decreased their frequency of cigarette smoking at the six-month follow-up period as follows: Subject 3, from 38 to 15 cigarettes smoked per day; Subject 4, from 50 to 44 cigarettes smoker per day; Subject 5, from 18 to 8 cigarettes smoked per day; and Subject 6, from 17 to 10 cigarettes smoked per day.

Possible reasons why Subjects 1 and 2 quit smoking are discussed and directions for future research are presented.



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