Science Project:

Hot Finger: Experimenting with Biofeedback

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Materials:

  • Mercury thermometer
  • Material to construct housing for the thermometer (many designs are possible)
  • Notebook to record results

Procedure

  1. Construct a box with the tip of the thermometer mounted inside. The thermometer scale should be outside the box so temperature readings can be read and recorded. The box should have a hole large enough for a person to stick a hand or finger in to touch the tip of the thermometer. Many designs are possible. Get creative!!
  2. Have a test subject place his finger on the tip of the thermometer.
  3. Ask the test subject to relax and clear his or her mind.
  4. Record a baseline temperature after five minutes.
  5. Ask the participant to use his or her thoughts to increase the temperature of their finger.
  6. Record the temperature on the thermometer every 30 seconds. When temperature increases, ask the participant to describe what they are thinking about.
  7. Test many different subjects. How many are able to control temperature with their minds?
Author: Megan Doyle, Ph.D.
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