PSYC 401A/501A, Principles of Psychophysiology

Spring, 2004, Mondays, 1100-150 p.m.

Room 317B Psychology



John J.B. Allen

424 Psychology


Phone: 621-4992

Office Hours M & W 515-615


Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the principles, theory, and applications of psychophysiological assessment.The course has two main goals: a) to provide an introduction to theory and research in major areas of human psychophysiology with a particular emphasis on psychophysiological correlates and physiological substrates of cognition, affect, and psychopathology; and b) to provide an introduction to laboratory techniques and methodological principles in human psychophysiology.The latter goal will be met through didactic as well as experiential means.For this reason, the course is designed to be taken (but not required to be taken) concurrently with PSYC 401B/501B, Psychophysiology Laboratory.


Course Structure

The course will involve a combination of lecture, discussion, and demonstrations.I will bring in samples of physiological signals for us to examine, and if you have psychophysiological data you are interested in examining, please let me know.There is no explicit participation requirement, but you will get more out of the course if you ask questions as they arise.We will be covering technical material, and you should feel quite free to interject your questions as they arise.Each class period, you will hand in a 3x5 card with your name and a question or comment that arose for you in the context of the lecture.This feedback mechanism, in addition to serving to keep attendance, will provide me with feedback in terms of how the material is being understood (or not understood!).



Readings will be taken from two textbooks, the first of which is may be available at the University Bookstore, but also available online.Readings will also be taken from other sources, which may be available for Xeroxing, but more likely will be available as a pdf file for downloading.The main single source of readings for the course is:


Cacioppo, J.T., Tassinary, L.G. , & Berntson, G.G (2000).Handbook of Psychophysiology (2nd edition).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


The assigned readings from this text are listed below under the schedule of topics and readings.The other textbook is a programmed-learning text in basic electricity:


Ryan, C.W. (1986).Basic Electricity: A Self-Teaching Guide (2nd Edition).New York:John Wiley and Sons.


You should complete Chapters 1‑5 of this programmed text.There will be a pass/fail test covering this material to be administered at the beginning of class 16 February, 2002.You must score above 80% to pass; you may retake the test once.



Students in 401A will be evaluated separately from those in 501A.Your grade will be determined by the electricity test (passing gives you 20% of the total points; failing = no points), attendance (10%), your grade on a 10-15 page paper (30%, details to follow, due 3 May, 2002), and your performance on a take-home final (40%, due 10 May, 2002).The take-home final will be given to students on the last day of class and be due one week later during the final exam time.Late papers or exams will receive a 10% reduction in possible points for each day such papers or exams are late.


Your letter grade will be determined in the following way:The highest total score (based on the electricity test, attendance, the paper, and the take home final) attained by any student in the class (for 401A and for 501A, considered separately) will become the reference score for grading.There will therefore be one reference score for 401A, and one for 501A.The student(s) with this highest total score will receive a grade of 100%.All other students will receive a percentage grade based upon this highest score, and the following scale will be applied:

90% & above =A

80%-89%†††† =†† B

70%-79%†††† =†† C

60%-69%†††† =†† D

Below 60%†† =†† Fail



Short of major medical illness or global catastrophe, there is virtually no reason I will award an incomplete grade for this course.Incompletes merely move a crisis from one time to another.


Academic Integrity

Cheating and plagiarism on any exam or the paper will result in a failing grade for the course, a notice will be sent to the Deanís office, and expulsion from the University of Arizona can result. Plagiarism is defined as any case where one person tries to take credit for the ideas or work of another.



Tentative Schedule of Topics & Readings


Link to Reading List for Download of pdfs


Link to Podcasts and Slides


19 January:††††† Martin Luther King Holiday -- University Closed


26 January:††††† Overviews

Cacioppo, J.T.,Tassinary, L.G. & Berntson, G.G. (2000).Psychophysiological science.In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 3-23).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Miller, G.A., (1996).How we think about cognition, emotion, and biology in psychopathology.Psychophysiology, 33, 615‑628.


2 February:††††† Foundations: Basic Electricity, Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (12 Meg pdf)

Ryan, C.W. (1986).Basic Electricity: A Self-Teaching Guide (2nd Edition).New York:John Wiley and Sons.Chapters 1,2,3,4,5.

Matsumoto, R., Walker, B.B., Walker, J.M., & Hughes, H. (1990). Fundamentals of neuroscience. In J.T. Cacioppo & L.G. Tassinary (Eds.), Principles of psychophysiology: Physical, social, and inferential elements (pp.58‑112), New York: Cambridge University Press. (NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE HANDBOOK OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY)


9 February:††††† Electrodermal Activity: Basics and Application to Polygraph Testing

Dawson, M.E., Schell, A.M., & Filion, D.L. (2000). The electrodermal system. In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 200-223).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Lykken, D.T., Rose, B., Luther, B., & Maley, M. (1966).Correcting psychophysiological measures for individual differences in range. Psychophysiological Bulletin, 66, 481‑484.

Lykken, D.T., & Venables, P.H. (1971). Direct measurement of skin conductance: A proposal for standardization. Psychophysiology, 8, 656‑672.

Lykken, D.T. (1959). The GSR in the detection of guilt. Journal of Applied Psychology, 43, 385‑388.


16 February:††† Basic Electricity Test Administered at Start of Class

Catch Up Class:Electrodermal Activity likely continued, The Oculomotor System

Stern, J.A., Walrath, L.C., & Goldstein, R. (1984).The endogenous eyeblink. Psychophysiology, 21, 22‑33.


23 February:††† Cardiovascular Psychophysiology

Brownley, K.A., Hurwitz, B.E., & Schneiderman, N. (2000).In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 224-263).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bernston, G.G., Cacioppo, J.T., & Quigley, K.S. (1993).Respiratory sinus arrhythmia: Autonomic origins, physiological mechanisms, and psychophysiological implications. Psychophysiology, 30, 183‑196.

Shalev, A. Y., Sahar, T., Freedman, S., Peri, T., Glick, N., Brandes, D., Orr, S. P., & Pitman, R. K. (1998). A prospective study of heart rate response following trauma and the subsequent development of posttraumatic stress disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 55, 553-559.

Porges, S.W. (1995).Orienting in a defensive world:Mammalian modifications of our evolutionary heritage.A Polyvagal Theory.Psychophysiology, 32, 301-318.


1 March:††††††††† The Skeletomotor System

Tassinary, L.G., & Cacioppo, J.T. (2000). The skeletomotor system: Surface electromyography. The electrodermal system. In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 163-199).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Lang, P.J. , Bradley, M.M., & Cuthburt, B.N. (1998).Emotion, Motivation, and Anxiety: Brain Mechanisms and Psychophysiology.Biological Psychiatry, 44, 1248-1263.

Bradley, M.M. (2000).Emotion and Motivation.†† In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 602-642).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


8 March:††††††††† The Electroencephalogram, Basics in Recording EEG, Frequency Domain Analysis and its Applications I -- Mood Disorders & Emotions

Davidson, R.J., Jackson, D.C., & Larson, C.L. (2000).Human Electroencephalography.In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 27-52).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Coan, J.A. & Allen, J.J.B. (In Press). Frontal EEG asymmetry as a moderator and mediator of emotion,. Biological Psychology.

Porges, S.W., Bohrer, R.E., Cheung, M.N., Drasgow, F., McCabe, P.M., & Keren, G. (1980). New time-series statistic for detecting rhythmic co-occurrence in the frequency domain: The weighted coherence and its application to psychophysiological research. Psychological Bulletin, 88:580‑587.


15 March: †††††† Spring Recess!!!!!!!!!!


22 March:††††††† Frequency Domain Analysis and its Applications II -- Subthreshold Perception, 40 Hertz Phenomena

Spydell, J.D. & Sheer, D.E. (1982).Effect of problem solving on tight and left hemisphere 40 Hertz activity. Psychophysiology, 19, 420‑425.

Singer, W. (1993). Synchronization of cortical activity and its putative role in information processing and learning. Annual Review of Physiology, 55, 349‑374.


29 March:††††††† The Polysomnograph and Issues in Sleep Research

Pivik, R.T. (2000). Sleep and dreaming. In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 687-716).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Carskadon, M.A., & Rechtschaffen, A. (2000). Monitoring and staging human sleep. In M.H. Kryger, T. Roth, & W.C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine, 3rd edition, (pp 1197-1216). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Carskadon, M.A., & Rechtschaffen, A. (2000). Normal Human Sleep: An Overview. In M.H. Kryger, T. Roth, & W.C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 3rd edition, (pp 15-24). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.


5 April:††††††††††† The Event-Related Potential: Basics and Applications (CNV, early components & P300)

Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., and Coles, M.G.H. (2000).Event-related brain potentials: Methods, theory, and applications.In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 53-84).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Donchin, E. (1981). Surprise!...Surprise?Psychophysiology, 18, 493-513.

Polich, J., & Kok, A. (1995).Cognitive and biological determinants of P300: An integrative review.Biological Psychology, 41, 103-146.


12 April:††††††††† More Applications of the ERP: P300 & N400; Cognitive Psychology

Johnson, R.J. (1986). A triarchic model of P300 amplitude.Psychophysiology, 23, 367-384.

Johnson, R.J. (1993). On the neural generators of the P300 component of the event-related potential.Psychophysiology, 30, 90-97

Kutas, M. & Hillyard, S.A. (1980). Event-related potentials to semantically inappropriate and surprisingly large words. Biological Psychology, 11, 99-116.

Gehring, W. J., Goss, B., Coles, M. G. H., Meyer, D. E., & Donchin, E. (1993).A neural system for error detection and compensation.Psychological Science, 4,385-390.


19 April:††††††††† Advanced Signal Processing I

Gratton, G., Coles, M.G.H., & Donchin, E. (1983).A new method for off-line removal of ocular artifact. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 55, 468-484.

Cook, E.W., & Miller, G.A. (1992).Digital Filtering: Background and tutorial for psychophysiologists.Psychophysiology, 3, 350‑367.


26 April:††††††††† Functional Neuroimaging:PET and fMRI

Reiman, E.M., Lane, R.D., Van Petten, C., & Bandettini, P.A. (2000).Positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging.In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 85-118).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bandettini, P.A., Birn, R.M., & Donahue, K.M. (2000). Functional MRI: Background, methodology, limits, and implementation.In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 978-1014).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


3 May: Paper Due

Advanced Signal Processing II

Donchin, E. & Heffley, E.F. (1978). Multivariate analysis of event-related potential data: A tutorial review. In D. Otto (Ed.), Multidisciplinary perspectives in event-related brain potential research (pp. 555‑572). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Scherg, M. (1990). Fundamentals of Dipole Source Potential Analysis. In F. Grandori, F. Hoke & Romani, G.L. (Eds.), Auditory Evoked Magnetic Fields and Electric Potentials. Advances in Audiology, 6, (pp. 40‑69). Switzerland: Basel, Karger.

Urbach TP. Kutas M. (2002).The intractability of scaling scalp distributions to infer neuroelectric sources. Psychophysiology. 39, 791-808.


10 May:††††††††††† Final Exam Due 5 P.M.






PSYC 401B/501B

Psychophysiology Laboratory

Spring, 2004


Supervising Instructor: John JB Allen (

Laboratory Teaching Assistant:Craig Santerre (


Laboratory Location

Laboratory sessions will take place in the Psychophysiology Laboratory, room 409 Psychology.This is a research laboratory, but times will be made available for class members to conduct experiements, under the supervision of one of the teaching assistants, in the laboratory.


Meeting times

To Be Arranged



Psychophysiology Laboratory must be taken concurrently with PSYC 401A/501A, Psychophysiology Seminar.The objective of the laboratory is to provide a pragmatic "hands-on" experience in psychophysiological recording and analysis.The laboratory will involve learning the many facets of psychophysiological signal acquisition and analysis.Four experiments will be conducted, each involving different response systems, offering you the opportunity to gain experience acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting autonomic and electrocortical psychophysiological measures.



For each experiment, students will be required to write an APA-style method and results section.These four papers will form the basis of your grade for the lab.


Experiments to be conducted


Experiment 1:††† Skin-conductance Guilty Knowledge Technique

Experiment 2:††† Electrocardiographic (EKG) responses to stress

Experiment 3:††† Frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry in emotion

Experiment 4:††† Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)




Readings will be provided as required in addition to the following, which should be read in advance of the first laboratory session:


Greene, W.A., Turetsky, B., & Kohler, C. (2000)..In J.T. Cacioppo, L.G. Tassinary, & G.G. Berntson, G.G (Eds.).Handbook of Psychophyiology (2nd edition; pp. 951-977).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.