PEP006: Stimulation Technologies

24 CE Hours / $500


Jerry R. DeVore PhD, ABPP

Cynthia Kerson

Cynthia Kerson

2(PhD), QEEGD, BCN, BCB Senior Fellow, BCB-HRV

Dr. Jerry R. DeVore, is a clinical psychologist, licensed in the State of Washington. He completed his PhD in psychology at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Dr. DeVore has had a career including 20 years of federal service with 11 years active duty. He has been a faculty member of an APA Approved Internship Program while on active duty. As a civilian he was the Director of Rehabilitation Psychology in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Puyallup, WA, where he worked for 18 years. Dr. DeVore recently retired from 20 years of federal service and now has a private practice in an integrative healthcare center, focusing on treatment with biofeedback, neurofeedback, hypnosis, and EMDR. Dr. DeVore is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Psychology. He is also BCIA certified in General Biofeedback and Neurofeedback. He is an Approved Consultant in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is Level II trained in EMDR. Clinically, Dr. DeVore is fascinated with the ways in which biofeedback, neurofeedback and hypnosis can foster health recovery and health resilience. He is also fascinated with the psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness such as hypnosis and he regularly presents in the area of experiential spirituality.

Course Description:

Stimulation technologies, which include restricted environmental stimulation technology, virtual reality, audio stimulation, visual stimulation, transcranial alternating current (TACS sometimes is called CES), and transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) among others, are current treatment modalities that utilize both indirect and direct stimulation of the brain to regulate brain state functioning, peripheral physiology, cognitive functioning and emotional functioning. These are forms of applied psychophysiology – a union of psychology and physiology. There are research publications showing efficacy with ADHD, emotional dysregulation (including anxiety and depression), improvements in cognitive decline among seniors and academic success among college students.  A medical and/or psychological practitioner may, under the scope of his/her license, practice these interventions. Some of the interventions can be applied as educational technologies or even entertainment technologies without certification or a license.  This course will focus on distinguishing claims about stimulation technology benefits and the empirical evaluation of those claims using evidence-based criteria.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will gain a knowledge of stimulation technologies in applied and research settings.
  2. The student will gain a foundational knowledge of the underlying physiological and psychophysiological mechanisms that are thought to be implicated in applied treatment and training contexts.
  3. The student will gain a foundational knowledge of the history, development, and relevant research relating to the emergence of Restricted Environmental Stimulation, Virtual Reality, Photic Flicker, Audio Stimulation, TACS/CES, TDCS, ECT, TENS and MET, pEMF, Mechanical Vibration and Percussion as well as a review of studies that have been completed documenting their efficacy.

Course Learning Resources:

Each module has an overview and assignments section.  Power Points sometimes have audio narration and sometimes just text.  Use the Power Points as an overview of the module.  Then there are readings.  This is more the deep dive material.  The texts are all public domain articles.  There are youtubes for many modules.  I selected them because they represent experts in the field and often having contrasting views.  On some occasions there are product descriptions.  I am not interested in you learning about the product so much as how the product is marketed.  There is a preponderance of claims that exceed current research findings.  I would like to encourage you to develop critical discernment between information and “medicine show” marketing.  Finally, there are the review questions to help you consolidate your knowledge.  I review each response that you submit and I will provide comments to reinforce your understanding and to provide guidance if you are off the mark.  If an item is marked “good” or “ok” your response doesn’t need to be revised.  Otherwise please revise as indicated.  I don’t give grades, but I expect mastery of each item before I can give you credit for the module.  I will work with you as long as needed in order for you to formulate a response showing me that you accurately grasp the material.  Please submit all responses to:

Course Schedule:

Module 1 Overview:  This module introduces students to essential skills for evaluating efficacy claims in the domain of stimulation technology. 

Module 1 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will distinguish scientific validity, efficacy, efficiency.
  2. The student will learn what an effect size is and how it is related to power, confidence intervals and Null Hypothesis Testing.
  3. The student will learn the basics of the AAPB Evidence-Based Biofeedback and Neurofeedback manual and how to use it to evaluate current research and future research.

The Psychology and Psychophysiology of REST and Floatation


Module 2 Overview:  This module will introduce the student to the technology of REST, (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technology) as exemplified by Chamber REST and Floatation.  The extensive history of these techniques will be surveyed.  The expected effects of such procedures will be identified.  Finally the results of scientific investigation will be explored. 

Module 2 Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will learn and discuss REST techniques as widespread in history and across cultures.
  2. Students will discuss chamber REST as initially developed by D. O, Hebb.
  3. Students will discuss Floatation REST as developed by Dr. John Lilly to facilitate introspection.
  4. Students will be able to list expected effects of REST experiences.
  5. Students will be able to identify theoretical models explaining REST experiences.
  6. Students will be able to discuss the evidence supporting clinical and performance enhancing effects of REST.


Virtual Reality

Module 3 Overview:  This module examines Virtual Reality Technology and its potential for therapeutic benefits and enhancing optimal functioning.

Module 3 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to describe what Virtual Reality Technology is and cite some examples.
  2. The student will be able to discuss the efficacy and scientific data associated with Virtual Reality experiences and training effects.

Transcortical Alternating Current Stimulation

Module 4 Overview:   

Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (TACS), also known as Cranio-Electro stimulation (CES) delivers a small, pulsed, alternating electrical current to the scalp and through the brain for calming, pain, sleep and other psychophysiological and psychological effects.

Module 4 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will gain a foundational knowledge of the history, development, and relevant research relating to the emergence of TACS/CES.
  2. The student will review studies that have been completed evaluation the effectiveness of this technology.


Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Module 5 Overview:   

This course will review the history of electrical stimulation technology and then focus on transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS).  The focus will cover the physiology basis of TDCS.  Safety issues will be addressed.  Clinical applications and outcome research will also be reviewed.

Module 5 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to describe what TDCS is.
  2. The student will be able to discuss safety concerns based on the literature.
  3. The student will be able to discuss several clinical applications and the outcome literature.


Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Module 6 Overview:   

Electroconvulsive therapy has had a colorful history.  In this module we will review data associated with this neurostimulation technology.  We will review what is involved with the procedure, who is expected to benefit and what efficacy data is available.

Module 6 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to describe what ECT is and what mechanisms are said to lead to efficacy in treatment.
  2. The student will be able to discuss safety, side effects and treatment efficacy associated with this procedure.
  3. The student will be able to discuss the benefits from the standpoint clinicians who believe that ECT has established value and from the standpoint of clinician who urge caution and continued RCT, Double-blind research.


Module 7 Overview:   

MET or Microcurrent Electrical Treatment or MCT or a variety of other initials involves electrical currents lower than 1milliamp.  Micro means million.  This treatment has been applied somatically primarily to facilitate pain mitigation.  TENS or Transcranial Electrical Stimulation was developed in light of the Pain Gate theory of pain, to mitigate somatic pain.  In both cases, electrodes are placed on the body somewhere other than the head, or if on the head, the intent is not to directly change brain function.

Module 7 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to discuss the similarities and differences between MET and TENS.
  2. The student will be able to discuss the literature related to MET for pain mitigation and other conditions and rate current efficacy in light of AAPB criteria.
  3. The student will be able to discuss the literature related to TENS for pain mitigation and other conditions and rate the current efficacy in light of AAPB criteria.
  4. The student will be able to discuss the information level of public media information such as Youtube for MET and TENS devices.



Module 8 Overview:   

This module covers pulsed electromagnetic stimulation (PEMF) as a deliberate intervention.  High Intensity PEMF has a number of medical applications, especially for treatment resistant depression and a body of research.  High intensity PEMF has been applied somatically with one report of significant improvement in headaches.  A number of low intensity PEMF devices have been developed.  There is some use for facilitating relaxation, vigilance and altered states of consciousness.

Module 8 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will learn what High Intensity PEMF is and some applications.
  2. The student will review the literature to estimate treatment efficacy of High Intensity PEMF.
  3. The student will learn what low intensity PEMF is and some applications.


Photic Flicker (AKA AVS or AVE)

Module 9 Overview:   

In this module we will focus on the empirical research involving Photic Flicker response.  This name is deliberate because it is accurately descriptive and because previous names are misleading.  For instance AVE stands for Audio-Visual Entrainment.  The entrainment hypothesis as the mechanism of effect has not been established.  In fact, most of the literature on this topic points to a steady-state evoked potential.  In general, the audio component is not studied and there is no evidence that the audio component works in a manner similar to the visual component.  Audio stimulation will be covered in a later module.  The module will cover EEG and cognitive effects of Photic Flicker exposure.  Photic Flicker has been implicated in stress management, mood management and anxiety management as well but the path from stimulation to cortical effect and physiology and standardized assessment with validated measures of mood is not very well documented. 

Module 9 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to define the Photic Flicker Response (AKA, AVS or AVE) and briefly describe the history as can be gleaned from the readings.
  2. The student will be able to summarize the literature on the Photic Flicker Response in the management of attention problems such as ADHD.
  3. The student will be able to summarize the literature on the Photic Flicker Response in the management of age-related cognitive decline.
  4. The student will be able to describe the relationship of Theta band Photic Flicker stimulation and episodic memory.
  5. The Student will be able to discuss the safety of Photic Flicker Stimulation.



Module 10 Overview:   

In this module we will review several applications of light and Near Infrared frequencies for assessment and treatment in psychophysiological contexts.  Full Spectrum Light will be overviewed with respect to Seasonal Affective disorder and other conditions.  Near Infrared frequencies in cortical assessment devices and applications often go by the name of FNIRS, (Functional Near Infra Red Spectroscopy).  FNIRS has been used to measure cortical functioning and to alter cortical functioning via neurofeedback.  FNIRS (Vielight)  and Red Light Therapy have been used to alter cortical functioning and somatic functioning via stimulation as well. 

Module 10 Learning Outcomes:

The student will:

  1. Discuss the nature of Full Spectrum Light for SAD and other conditions.
  2. Discuss technologies such as Vielight for stimulating change in cortical functioning.
  3. Discuss red light therapy and applications related to applied psychophysiology such as pain mitigation.

Sound and Music

Module 11 Overview:   

In this module we will review some of the work using sound and sound patterns to produce psychological changes.  Sound has featured prominently in lore around the world.  Tone based instruments (flutes) are at least 20,000 years old.  More recently sound in the form of binaural tones have been said to facilitate hypnotic responsiveness and alter cortical functions.  What does scientific investigation say?  Are there cognitive implications for music.  What is the relationship of music and emotion.  These are some of the areas that we will explore in this module.


Module 11 Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, the student will be able to:

  1. Discussion current literature regarding the mechanisms and efficacy for binaural beat stimulation.
  2. Discuss the cognitive impact of music
  3. Discuss the emotional impact of music

Mechanical Stimulation/Vibration

Module 12 Overview:   

Mechanical stimulation and vibration have a long history use in the healing arts.  In this module we will look briefly at acupoint or energy psychology interventions which involve mechanical stimulation of acupuncture/acupressure points for a number of conditions.  We will also briefly review some literature on the processes involving vibrators and pain mitigation.  We would miss the obvious if we didn’t review some literature on vibrators for orgasmic enhancement as well.

Module 12 Learning Outcomes:

  1. The student will be able to discuss the empirical research supporting the efficacy of tapping on acupuncture points to produce a number of psychological benefits.
  2. The student with be able to discuss some of the processes associated with using vibration for pain mitigation.
  3. The student will be able to discuss some of the literature associated with orgasmic enhancement by means of vibrators.


You can start the course whenever wish to within six months of the purchase date and work at your own pace as long as you complete the course within one year of purchase. Just contact us at or 800 530 6658 to get started.

Duration of course validity:

You must begin the course within six months of the purchase date and complete it within one year of the purchase date. Courses not completed by that time are void and must be repurchased if still available. No refunds are provided for courses not completed within one year of purchase.

CE Credit:

These are continuing education, not university accredited, courses. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


This course is accepted by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance for recertification.

Payment, Refund, Scholarship, and cancellation policies 

Full payment for each course is required before access to the course is provided. Payment is by credit card though our web site’s secure ordering section or by check in US dollars made out to the Foundation and sent to the address below. Full refund will be made until students are given access to the course material. After getting access to the course material, there is no refund at all as the Foundation has committed its resources to you and you have access to all of the course materials. A course would only be cancelled due to an extreme emergency on the part of the course instructor or the Foundation. In the highly unlikely event a course is cancelled, you would receive a full refund.


The Foundation give scholarships consisting of 25% off the cost of the course(s) to (a) students and professionals (e.g. clinicians, coaches, teachers) from emerging nations and (b) full time graduate students in developed nations.

Course updates:

Updates to all courses are placed on the course web site as they are made. Students are informed when updates are available. 

Questions / further information?

Contact Dr. Richard Sherman (director of the Foundation) at or 1.800.530.6658.

Contact Us:


Phone with toll from outside the US & Canada:
Do not call until after 9 AM pacific time
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM United States, Pacific Time
Monday – Friday