Eye movement Biofeedback

General Information
Basics about active and passive Biofeedback
Concluding Summary Report about the EOG Biofeedback System Trial for Tinnitus
Principles and Practice of Progressive Relaxation
Brief Operating Instruction EOG.micro
Sound examples


General Informations

We can only specifically influence that which we perceive.

Biofeedback makes unconsciously run body processes observable and experiential.

If, for example, muscle tension or skin moisture have been measured, then the EOG.Biofeedback "processes" eye responses.


The EOG Biofeedback procedure, which registers and analyzes the movement of the muscles in the eye area and uses the most modern computer technology for relaxation, is new. Scientific research has shown that these muscle activities in the eye area during mental processes are responsible for depth relaxation: if we succeed in relaxing these, the mind will also relax.


The EOG.micro biofeedback system directly affects the vegetative nervous system. In this way the stress symptoms are counteracted and their undesired consequences are avoided.


The EOG.micro has been successfully used for:


Operation can be compared to sleeping glasses: built-in sensors register muscle activity in the eye area even if the eyes are closed and control corresponding sounds in stereo CD quality. By using this acoustical feedback (EOG), the process of inner perception is accompanied by the body's own rhythm – the result is depth relaxation, which can activate the healing energy from the resulting rest.




Basics about active and passive Biofeedback

Dr. med. Akos Tatar

During biofeedback, body functions, which usually occur unconsciously, such as muscle tension, heart rate, eye movements and circulation, are measured and fed back with suitable instruments. By using the audio-visual feedback, the physiological functions of perception are made accessible and brought under conscious control.


During the course of treatment it has become easier to use the skills acquired through biofeedback without using the device. It is thus learning about body perception, self-control and self-healing.


The first approaches were made in the 30's of this century, however, only the technological developments in the past few years have made further development possible. The following parameters can be derived using several modules: skin conductivity, EOG (eye movement), EMG (electromyography), EEG, skin temperature, pulse rate, amplitude of the pulse, as well as respiratory excursion over thorax and abdomen.


How is biofeedback applied?

Biofeedback is a scientifically recognized method at the intersection of medical sciences and psychology. Biofeedback has been applied therapeutically in almost all disciplines of medicine, even up to dermatology. The main domain are neurovascular, neuromuscular and neurological-psychiatrical illnesses, such as:

Hypertonia, vascular cephalgia, orthostatic dysregulation, migraines, tinnitus, post-traumatic headaches, post treatment of apoplexia and spinal trauma, fibromyalgia, tenseness, sciatic neuralgia, chronic pain of all kinds, incontinence, anorectal dysfunctions, obstipation, but also ataxia treatment for Morbus Parkinson, depression, and much more.

Biofeedback in therapy


EOG biofeedback has a favorable position in the biofeedback systems since it can be applied actively as well as passively (see below).


EOG biofeedback has been successfully applied for illnesses, which are accompanied by increasing muscular tone (tension headache, torticollis) or by increased agitation level (high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, psychosomatic symptoms), but also in the area of neurology (tinnitus) and rehabilitation.


One advantage of the therapy lies in the active participation of the patient undergoing therapy, i.e. the patient must actively deal with himself and his problems.

Biofeedback in prevention, sport and meditation


Next to therapy, this method is also applied in the sense of prevention in order to achieve good stress management using various relaxation methods.


EOG biofeedback serves to reduce arising stress in serious sports and to fully utilize the resources during competition by using mental training.


EOG biofeedback presents the possibility to perceive unconscious thoughts during meditation. This is possible, since even fleeting thoughts are accompanied by eye movement and reach the consciousness over the biofeedback.

Neurological Background


We distinguish between three types of biofeedback:

a) Passive biofeedback, such as the respiratory biofeedback according to Prof. Leuner.
b) Active biofeedback, such as EMG, EEG, pulse, temperature biofeedback.
c) Active and passive biofeedback, such as EOG biofeedback according to Stielau.



Passive Biofeedback

The passive biofeedback exerts its effect through the afferent pathways of the optic nerve and/or acoustic nerve, which continues to influence the reticular formation through the tectoreticular pathways, which includes respiration, heart rate and vessels in the basal part of the regulatory centers.


Passive biofeedback also works on animals. Gruber and Taub worked with monkeys in order to control their muscular tension.



Active Biofeedback

Cognitive performance are included during active biofeedback. The technically measured signals of the vegetative functions (biofeedback device) at first reach the frontal brain. From there, influences is exerted on the hypothalamus, which controls the vegetative nervous system. Nucl. supra optic nerves, paraventricular influence the parasympathetic nervous system, the nucl. dorsomedial, ventromedial and posterior influence the sympathetic nervous system, ventromedial and posterior influence the sympathetic nervous system.


The meaning of eye movements


The entire physiology of eye movement regulation for humans has not been completely explained even today. The brain stem, cerebellum, thalamus, striatum, parietal and frontal cortex participate in the complex oculomotor process.


Eye movements change during emotional motions, mirror many cognitive processes, such as calculation, visualization, etc., as the studies by Previc, Murphy and Martin show.

EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), a form of therapy, which is based on the connection between eye movements and post-traumatic anxiety symptoms, attained importance during treatment of Vietnam veterans and war victims.


Gruber BL; Taub E ; Thermal and EMG biofeedback learning in nonhuman primates. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback, 23(1):1-12 1998 Mar



Previc FH; Murphy SJ ; Verticaleye movements during mental tasks: a re-examination and hypothesis. Percept Mot Skills, 84(3 Pt 1):835-47 1997 Jun

Martin RB ; The effect of voluntary eye movementson associationsand mood. J Clin Psychol, 54(4):545-53 1998 Jun

Andrade J; Kavanagh D; Baddeley A; Eye-movements and visual imagery: a working memory approach to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Br J Clin Psychol, 36 ( Pt 2)():209-23 1997 May




Summary Report about the EOG Biofeedback System Trial for Tinnitus


Prof. Dr. H. Berndt ENT Specialist / Audiology

The biofeedback system was monitored on 35 patients with decompensated chronic tinnitus in the Audiologic Office of Assistant Prof. Dr. Berndt from 29.09.1999 until 11.05.2000.


After introductory explanations and trial sessions of 20 minutes, 20 patients decided to use the device.


A minimum 4-week test phase was implemented with these 20 patients, whereby the device was used twice daily for 20 minutes each.


Before and after concluding the test phase, the tinnitus was measured by frequency and maskability, the hearing threshold was determined, and the questionnaire was answered according to Göbel and Hiller.


RESULTS: the hearing threshold did not change. The tinnitus values according to frequency and intensity of the maskability were equally unchanged.


For 15 patients, the score according to Göbel and Hiller improved by 9 points (-5 to –13).

For 5 patients, the values remained approximately the same (+- 2 points).


In summary we can determine that the EOG biofeedback device of the BioMental company can be applied very well as relaxation method within the frame of tinnitus retraining therapy. The mode of action can be compared to the method using progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobsen, whereby the relaxing effect appears to set in more quickly.


Five patients continue to use the device after finishing the therapy, in the meantime up to 4 months, and do not wish to do without.  




by Edmund Jacobson, M.D., Ph.D. & F. J. McGuigan, Ph.D.


Self-Instruction Manual excerpts, pages 17 & 18 Guilford Publications, Inc. 1982, New York, New York


Eye movement (EOG) related extracts. EOG.micro is a proper device to support the practices.


VIII. Control Of Mind

When you think or imagine or engage in any other form of mental activity, your brain is active, but to no greater extent than when you engage in any so-called physical activity, such as golf. Without a brain you could not think, but neither could you play golf. At no time do you feel your brain working; neither do you ever have tension signals in the brain. As you learn to recognize tensions during ,mental activity, you will find them chiefly in the eyes and speech regions but ~ not in the brain.


You can learn to control your thinking and emotions to a useful ~ extent because these mental activities occur only if and when you ~ tense your eye and speech muscles. However, you may' use every other muscle in your body in thinking and in emotion, depending on the patterns which correspond to your endeavors. Electrical measurements show, for instance, that people often use their arm muscles in imagination.


Close your eyes and think about any matter. If skilled, you can*notice (1) visual. pictures, called images, but also (2) eye tensions to look at what you see in imagination. In thinking, also, you are likely to use your speech apparatus to form words, but these are not spoken aloud. , Electrical measurerrients disclose that you use the same inuscles as you use in saying the same words aloud.


....... in visual imaginations you look at the objects you think about, turning your eyes in the same way as if you were looking at real objects.


Thus, imagination is a shorthand, a telescopic reproduction in which you use your muscles just as you do in reality when you see objects of persons and speak aloud. However, in mental activity the tensions are miniscule. As said above, you will find that all other muscles may and  do participate in some of your tensions-image patterns.


(2) When you engage in any mental or physical effort, the brain and the muscles act approximately simultaneously. That the brain has an idea first which later is expressed in the muscles is an incorrect view for which no evidence ever was presented, although many people held it and still do.


We have emphasized that the eye muscles and the speech muscles are of great importance to thought. However, to emphasize that mental activity is carried out by the entire body, note that at any moment if the muscles either of the arms or legs or trunk are really relaxed approximately to zero tension, the mind is also thereby quieted. Why? Because in thinking or emotion, tensions in the parts mentioned also participate. They too are the actors in any and every play of the mind. Without them participating the mind is vacant.


Understanding this will enable you to apprehend why "the mind relaxes" when the limbs or trunk or any other larger section of the body relaxes. However,, remember that for this, the tertsion signals must be reduced to zero or nearly so. If , the reduction falls short, , leaving tension signals of a diminished but sufficient order, then, as when the telegrapher's signals are are still faintly present, the messages are still there and the mind keeps on working....

Progressive Relaxation: A Physiological and Clinical Investigation of Muscular States and their significance in Psychology and Medical Practice. By Edmund Jacobson University of Chicago Press, Eleventh Imptession 1968


Page 188

.....With complete ocular relaxation, the image disappears. This may be done by individuals of greatest skill and experience, not alone lying down but also sitting up with eyes open. Motor or kinesthetic imagery likewise may be relaxed away. "Inner speech," for instance, ceases with progressive relaxation of the muscles of the lips, 'tongue, larynx and throat...

Page 218


....In my own observations, reports have been secured independently from subjects and patients under normal conditions as well as during states of nervous excitement. ~They agree that the emotions subside as the individual completely relaxes the striated muscles, particularly which he seems to find specifically concerned in the emotion at hand: the esophagus in one instance of fear; the forehead and brow as a rule in worry or anxiety..  




Operating Instructions EOG.micro


1. Installing EOG.micro

2. Preparing the electrodes

3. Starting EOG.micro

  1. Ocean murmur, the eye movements control the sound patterns
  2. Sacral, the eye movements control the chords
  3. Sitar, the eye movements control the pattern of tones
  4. Choir, the eye movements control tonality and pitch
  5. Wawa, the eye movements control the intensity of the tones
  6. Sound, the eye movements control tonality and pitch

4. Using EOG.micro




Sound examples EOG.micro