Human visual evoked responses are related to heart rate

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Attempted to determine the relation between changes in heart rate (HR) and averaged evoked potentials. 16 male undergraduates with variable HRs received 50 flashes of light during fast heart beats, 50 during slow heart beats, and 50 during midrange HR level. Evoked responses were recorded from the scalp overlying the right and left occipital lobes. HR, respiration, eye movements, and cephalic blood flow were also recorded. Results indicate that spontaneous changes in HR were related to changes in visual evoked responses and that this relation differed for the cerebral hemispheres. Cephalic pulse amplitude was largest following slow heart beats and smallest following fast heart beats, which suggests that changes in HR are related to changes in cerebrovascular as well as electrocortical activity. Results are discussed in terms of formulations derived from behavioral studies regarding the relation between cardiovascular activity and attentional processes. (54 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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