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Publication numberUS2684670 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date27 Jul 1954
Filing date1 Aug 1951
Priority date1 Aug 1951
Publication numberUS 2684670 A, US 2684670A, US-A-2684670, US2684670 A, US2684670A
InventorsMathison Volney G
Original AssigneeMathison Volney G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electropsychometer or bioelectronic instrument
US 2684670 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1954 v. G. MATHISON ELECTROPSYCHOMETER OR BIOELECTRONIC INSTRUMENT Filed Aug. 1, 1951 Patented July 27, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ELEOTROPSYCHOMETER OR BIOELEC- TRONIC INSTRUMENT 8 Claims.

My invention, to which I apply the descriptive name electropsychometer, is a novel bio-electronic instrument which registers human dynamic emotion in a more accurate and sensitive manner than has been possible with any previous device of comparable simplicity.

It has been known for many years that if a subject is connected in series with a sensitive galvanometer and a source of low-potential direct current by means of electrodes brought into contact with some areas of the subjects skin, the galvanometer needle will at times register fluctuating values of current flow. Although such variations of current flow are governed, in the main, by the action of the sweat glands in the skin underneath the contacting electrodes, the rate of discharge of fluid from the sweat glands is in turn related to some. extent to the activity of the subjects autonomous nervous structure. The approximate general result is that the response of the galvanometric instrument reflects in some degree the immediately prevailing nervous and emotional tone-level of the subject. In the hands of a skilled therapist, the psychogalvanometric arrangement as a whole is a valuable adjuvant in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Previous psychogalvanometric instruments, however, have been costly, cumbersome, and in general tend to register in a manner that has been found difficult to evaluate. For these reasons such instruments have upto this time not been much used in actual practice by psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.

My invention eliminates most of the objectionable features of the conventional psychogalvanometer and operates at a much higher level of sensitivity and accuracy. The generic combination of elements comprising my electropsychometer are: (a) one or more resilient and compressible skin-contacting electrodes; (1)) a fairly simple type of balanced vacuum tube bridge; a sensitive moving-coil type of direct current microammeter which has its winding connected into the output circuit of the amplifying vacuum tube bridge in series with a current-rectifying element, so that only rectified unidirectional current flows, through the indicating instrument.

The invention is illustrated, by way of example, in the accompanying drawing, in which Figure 1 discloses the electrical circuit of the device. Figure 2 is an example of the design of an actual instrument as reduced to practice, showing the operating controls, microammeter, two resilient and compressible skin-contacting electrodes, and an electrode clamp.

Referring to the drawing, the numerals I I and I2 denote the positive and negative terminals of a source of direct current, which may be provided by any conventional type of vacuum-tube plate power supply, such as a small transformer, rectifier tube and filter circuit. I3, I4, I 5, I6 comprise a group of four resistors connected in series across the plate current supply terminals I I, I2, to form a voltage divider. I8 is an adjustable wire-wound potentiometer. One end of I8 is connected through a resistance I9 to the plate element of vacuum tube 20. The other end of I8 is connected through a resistance 2| to the plate element of a second vacuum tube 22. The cathode elements of vacuum tubes 20, 22, are connected in common to one end of a resistance 23. The other end of 23 is connected to the negative terminal of the plate power supply, I2.

A terminal post 24 is connected between resistors I5 and IS. A second terminal post 25 is connected to the grid element of vacuum tube 20. Two flexible conductors 26 are connected to terminal posts 24 and 25. The other ends of the conductors 26 are connected to two resilient and compressible skin-contacting electrodes 28.

An adjustable resistance 29 is connected to the grid element of vacuum tube 20. 29 is also connected to a resistance IT. The other end of I! is connected between resistors I3 and I4. A wire is connected from the plate element of vacuum tube 20 to the positive terminal of a direct-current microammeter 30. The terminals of microammeter 30 are shunted by an adjustable resistance 3I. The movable arm of 3| is connected to the plate element of a vacuum tube which is connected to function as a highly conductive diode. The cathode element of 32 is connected to the plate element of vacuum tube 22. The grid element of vacuum tube 22 is connected to a point between resistors I4 and I5.

The potential across the terminals II and I2 may be of about 250 volts. The resistances may be of approximately the following values: I3, 24,000 ohms; I4, 680 ohms; I5, 680 ohms; I6, 18,000 ohms; I1, 12,000 ohms; I8, 20,000 ohms, I9, 15,000 ohms; 2|, 22,000 ohms; 23, 15,000 ohms; 29, 50,000 ohms; 32, 10,000 ohms. Vacuum tubes 20 and 22 may be 6J5s. A twin type of vacuum tube functioning as two amplifiers in a single envelope may be substituted for vacuum tubes 20 and 22. 32 may be a SJ 5 connected to function as a diode rectifier. The microammeter 30 may have a range of from zero to 50 microamperes. Any sensitive moving coil type of instrument may be used.

The skin-contacting electrodes 23 may be made of woven metallic fabric formed into the approximate shape of natural sponges and having characteristics of resiliency and compressibility. The electrodes 23 may be applied to the subject by having him clasp them in his hands. One electrode may be retained against the inside of the palm of one hand by means of a Ushaped clamp 4e. Flexible conductors 26 are attached to terminal posts 24 and 25. Resistances 12S and it are adjusted until a reading is obtained somewhere on the low-current area or the indicating scale of the microammeter ill Psych-calmly sis or psychotherapy may now proceed. Surges of the pointer of the microammeter toward higher current readings on the indicating scale signify relatively rising degrees of emotion. or of nervous tension in the subject to which the electrodes 28 are attached.

Variations in ohmic resistance between the skin-contacting electrodes 28 cause variations of electrical potential to appear at the terminals of the indicating microammeter, iii

The flow of current through 30 is unidirectional and irreversible, because of the action of the rectifying element 32 connected in series with the indicating instrument. If the subject who is undergoing examination or therapy lets go of one of the skin-contacting electrodes, the resulting reversed potentials that would other wise instantly appear at the terminals of the microammeter are blocked by the high reversecurrent resistance of the rectifying vacuum tube 32, and the pointer of the indicating instrument moves smoothly to zero. The terminals of the micrcammeter 3%] are shunted by an adjustable resistance 8!, which acts as a damping circuit and at the same time operates as a sensitivity control.

The invention functions in the following novel manner: Firstly, it utilizes the psychogalvanic reflex level, or ohmic skin and body resistance value of the subject. Secondly, upon the flow of current through the indicating microammeter related to the subj ects psychogalvanic reflex level I have superimposed a rapidly varying additional value of rectified and unidirectional current whicl is obtained through the use of one or more resilient and compressible electrodes grasped. by the fingers of the subject. The use of these resilient and compressible electrodes enables me, in effect, to translate the delicate and ordinarily imperceptible tensing and relaxing of the muscular structure of the subjects arms and hands into special additional fluctuations of resistance value in the subjects skin and body circuit, and thereby to obtain a new means for varying the potentials appearing at the grid elements of the amplifier input circuit. The amplified fluctuating values of potential caused by this means to appear in the plate circuits of the vacuum tube bridge are converted by the rectifying element 32 into varying values of unidirectional current at the terminals of the direct-current microammeter 30.

The invention thus takes advantage simultaneousy of a plurality of reflexes of the human physical and nervous structure; firstly, the psychogalvanometric reflux involving the sweat glands of the skin, and, secondly, muscular reflexes involving slight variations of muscular tension in the arms, hands, and fingers, related to impulses registering, sometimes with consi erable rapidity, in the subjects nervous structure. The utilization of the above-described dual retherapist himself.

flex principle, combined with the use of a current rectifying element in series with a sensitive direct-current indicating instrument, results in an instrument which functions at such a high degree of rapidity and sensitivity that the subject can rarely, if ever, inhibit the registration of accurate and adequate responses during analysis or therapy.

A number of variations in the manner of attaching the electrodes to the subject are possible. An electrode may be grasped in one hand and the second electrode may be applied to some other part of the body. Systemic arrangements comprising a plurality of negative electrodes connected in parallel, or a plurality of positive electrodes in parallel, or both, may be used. The instrument functions effectively with one resilient and compressible electrode and one non-resilient electrode. If this combination of electrodes is used, the resilient electrode may be placed in the subjects right hand, and the non-resilient electrode in the subjects left hand, in the case of a right-handed subject, or oppositely in the case of a left-handed subject.

It is immaterial whether the rectifier tube 32 is connected between the plate element of vac uum tube 22 and the microammeter 36, or between the plate element of vacuum tube 2% and the microammeter, as long as the polarity require ments of the rectifying device are observed.

The registrations observed on the scale of the indicating microammeter are rapid, sharp, and highly informative to the professional psychoanalyst or psychotherapist. The instrument facilitates both diagnosis and therapy. It detects the presence of even a slight degree of narcotization. It has a decisive eifect on the prospective patient, as he may be permitted to observe actual registrations of his own non-normal responses to interrogative data. One of the outstanding advantages of the invention is that it insures against an unconscious misevaluation of factors in a case that might result from some personal psychic trauma in the history of the psycho- The instrument discloses resentment or resistance in a patient toward therapy or especially toward the practitioner, resulting from something done or said to the patient by the therapist. This consequently results in raising the level of rapport and communication between the patient and the therapist to a level rarely obtained by any other means.

The instrument is convenient to operate. A lever attached to the adjustable resistance 25 reads on a numbered scale and indicates the general emotional and nervous tone-level of the patient. The numeration on this scale may be arbitrary, rather than ohmic. Adjustable resistance it functions as an expander of the over-all ohmic range of the instrument. Adjustable resistance 32 controls the sensitivity of the instrument.

Quiescent readings on the indicating scales of the instrument reflect resistance values prevailing in the patients skin and body circuit and are related in some degree to the nervous condition of the patient. Such readings should be viewed in the light of the general experience and judgment of the therapist. Dynamic fluctuations of the current flowing through the indicating microammeter and rectifying element, however, considered in a time-sequence sense, are highly significant.

I claim:

1. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the'varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing any kind of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skin-contacting electrodes, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, two amplifying vacuum tubes, means for connecting the grid element of one of the said vacuum tubes to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element of the said vacuum tube being connected to the positive terminal of a movingcoil type of current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said current-indicating instrument being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the oathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the plate element of the second amplifying vacum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of both of the abovementioned vacuum tubes, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tubes so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skincontacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil indicating instrument.

2. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing any kind of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skin-contacting electrodes, one or more of the said skin-contacting electrodes being resilient and compressible, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, two amplifying vacuum tubes, means for connecting the grid element of one of the said vacuum tubes to one of the aforesaid skincontacting electrodes, the plate element of the said vacuum tube being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the positive terminal of a current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said current-indicating instrument being connected to the plate element of the second amplifying vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of both of the abovementioned vacuum tubes, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tubes so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil indicating instrument.

3. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing any kind of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skin-contacting electrodes, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, two amplifying vacuum tubes, means for connecting the grid element of one of the said vacuum tubes to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element of the aforesaid vacuum tube being connected to the anodic terminal of a currentrectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the positive terminal of a moving-coil type of current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said current-indicating instrument being connected to the plate element of the second amplifying vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of both of the above-mentioned vacuum tubes, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tubes so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil indicating instrument.

4. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing any kind of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skin-contacting electrodes, one or more of the said skin-contacting electrodes being resilient and compressible, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said skin-contacting electrodes, two amplifying vacuum tubes, means for connecting the grid element of one of the said vacuum tubes to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element of the said vacuum tube being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the plate element of the secondamplifying vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of both of the above-mentioned vacuum tubes, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tubes so'that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil indicating instrument.

5. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skincontacting electrodes, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, a twin type of vacuum tube functioning as an amplifier, means for connecting one of the grid elements of the said vacuum tube to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element associated with the said grid ele ment being connected to the positive terminal of a moving-coil type of current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said currentindicating instrument being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the plate element of the second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate elements and the cathode elements of the above-mentioned vacuum tube, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tube so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the abovedescribed skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil current-indieating instrument.

6. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skincontacting electrodes, one 'or more of the said electrodes being resilient and compressible, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, a twin type of vacuum tube functioning as an amplifier, means for connecting one of the grid elements of the said vacuum tube to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element associated with the said grid element being con nected to the positive terminal of a current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said current-indicating instrument being connected to the anodic terminal oi a currentrectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the plate element of the second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate elements and the cathode elements of the above-mentioned vacuum tube, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tube, so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid movingcoil current-indicating instrument.

7. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varying degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skincontacting electrodes, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, a twin type of vacuum tube functioning as an amplifier, mean for connecting one of the grid elements of the said vacuum tube to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element associated with the said grid element being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the positive terminal of a moving-coil type of current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said currentindicating instrument being connected to the plate element of the second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of the above-mentioned vacuum tube, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tube so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the abovedescribed skin-contacting electrodes are regisered by the aforesaid moving-coil current-indicating instrument.

8. A bio-electronic instrument which registers the varyin degrees of tension and emotion that may exist in the general physical and nervous structure of a person undergoing psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, comprising two or more skincontacting electrodes, one of the said electrodes being resilient and compressible, means for establishing a difference of electrical potential between the said electrodes, a twin type of vacuum tube functioning as an amplifier, means for connecting one of the grid elements of the said vacuum tube to one of the aforesaid skin-contacting electrodes, the plate element associated with the said grid element being connected to the anodic terminal of a current-rectifying element, the cathodic terminal of the said current-rectifying element being connected to the positive terminal of a current-indicating instrument, the negative terminal of the said current-indicatin instrument being connected to the plate element of the second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum type, means for establishing a biasing potential at the grid of the said second section of the aforesaid twin type vacuum tube, means for applying electrical operating potentials between the plate and cathode elements of the above-mentioned vacuum tube, means for adjusting the values of one or more of the resistance elements associated with the above-mentioned vacuum tube so that variations in ohmic resistance occurring between the above-described skin-contacting electrodes are registered by the aforesaid moving-coil currentlndicating instrument.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,535,249 Wilhelm Dec. 26, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 568,676 Great Britain Apr. 16, 1945

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2535249 *26 Feb 194826 Dec 1950Donald Burns FrankElectric psychometer
GB568676A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2812757 *8 Jun 195412 Nov 1957LuskApparatus for detecting physiological conditions
US3034500 *2 May 195715 May 1962Backster Jr Grover CMethod and apparatus for measuring and recording group reactions
US3139085 *2 Sep 196030 Jun 1964Arthur C CustanceMethod for determining sweat rate
US3289671 *11 Sep 19636 Dec 1966Glenn Troutman EdwinIontophoresis method
US3727604 *26 Oct 197117 Apr 1973T SidwellEmotional level indicator
US3753434 *23 Aug 197121 Aug 1973P CashElectronic device for measuring penetration of tooth root canal and endodontic therapy method
US3901214 *26 Mar 197326 Aug 1975Brotman PhillipHuman resistivity sensing device
US642299229 Jul 199923 Jul 2002Raffel Product Development Co., Inc.Total body relaxation system and method
US7536220 *26 Nov 200719 May 2009Biomeridian International, Inc.Methods for obtaining quick, repeatable and non-invasive bioelectrical signals in living organisms
US754279616 Jul 20032 Jun 2009Biomeridian International, Inc.Methods for obtaining quick, repeatable, and non-invasive bioelectrical signals in living organisms
US793713920 Jul 20043 May 2011Biomeridian International, Inc.Systems and methods of utilizing electrical readings in the determination of treatment
US20040204658 *10 Apr 200314 Oct 2004Dietz Phillip W.Systems and methods for providing an enhanced bioelectric sensing surface
US20060020223 *20 Jul 200426 Jan 2006Horne Douglas SSystems and methods of utilizing electrical readings in the determination of treatment
US20080071188 *26 Nov 200720 Mar 2008Horne Douglas SMethods for obtaining quick, repeatable and non-invasive bioelectrical signals in living organisms
US20110319165 *25 Jun 201029 Dec 2011Richard TamianiWishbox
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/547
International ClassificationA61B5/05
Cooperative ClassificationA61B5/05
European ClassificationA61B5/05