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Drug Effects on Biofeedback

Although there are excellent textbook chapters and review articles summarizing drug effects on the EEG, there are no comparable resources for blood volume pulse (BVP), electrodermal activity (EDA), electromyography (EMG), respiration rate, and skin temperature (TEMP). The main reason for this knowledge gap is that few studies have directly examined the pharmacological effects of medications and social drugs on these biofeedback measurements. This post is a work in progress with several caveats. The tables are incomplete due to the difficulty of identifying relevant human studies. No studies directly measured BVP, EMG, or skin temperature. Instead, they evaluated muscle relaxation and peripheral circulation. We caution our readers to avoid conflating muscle relaxation with EMG and peripheral circulation with BVP and skin temperature. Drug class members may produce varying physiological changes, sometimes in opposing directions. Finally, individual drug responses can vary widely and may depend on factors like dosage, other drugs, physiology, and health.

Blood Volume Pulse (BVP) and Temperature (TEMP)

Vasodilation may result in increased BVP and skin temperature.

Peripheral Circulation Effects


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Electrodermal Activity (EDA)

EDA Drug Effects


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Electromyography (EMG)

Muscle relaxation and reduced muscle spasms may reduce EMG.

Skeletal Muscle Drug Effects


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Respiration Rate

Respiration Rate Drug effects


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