Lynn H. Parker, Michael F. Cataldo, Gordon Bourland, Cleeve S. Emurian, Roger J. Corbin, Jeanne M. Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The popularity and reported success of biofeedback treatment for neuromuscular disorders has occurred despite a lack of research identifying the critical variables responsible for therapeutic gain. In this study, we assessed the degree to which severe neurological dysfunction could be improved by using one of the components present in all biofeedback treatment, contingency management. Three cases of orofacial dysfunction were treated by reinforcing specific improvements reliably detectable without the use of biofeedback equipment. The results showed that contingency management procedures alone were sufficient to improve overt motor responses but, unlike biofeedback treatment, did not produce decreases in the hypertonic muscle groups associated with the trained motor behavior. The findings suggest that sophisticated, expensive biofeedback equipment may not be necessary in treating some neuromuscular disorders and that important clinical gains may be achieved by redesigning the patient's daily environment to be contingently therapeutic, rather than only accommodating the disabilities of the physically handicapped. 1984 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


  • behavioral medicine
  • contingency management
  • electromyography
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • orofacial dysfunction
  • rehabilitation medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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