Development of physiological response patterns concomitant with the learning of voluntary heart rate control

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36 male undergraduates were instructed to raise or lower heart rate (HR) in a 7-session biofeedback experiment. HR, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, frontalis EMG activity, and skin conductance level were simultaneously recorded throughout biofeedback training. Principal axes factor analyses showed that physiological response patterning concomitant with the development of HR control was different early in training than later in training for both speeding and slowing conditions. These results indicate that Ss used different HR control strategies. Also indicated was a tendency for greater HR response specificity as training progressed for both speeding and slowing. HR speeding sessions (but not slowing) were also found to be associated with a significant increase in perceived state anxiety as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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