A Multi‐Response Analysis of Learned Heart Rate Control

Gary G. Lott, Robert J. Gatchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Thirty college students were classified on the basis of cold‐pressor blood pressure responses and then randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. One group merely tracked a visual analog display of their heart rate (tracking group). A second group attempted to increase and decrease its heart rate without the visual display (no‐feedback group). A third group attempted to increase and decrease their heart rates with the aid of the visual heart rate display (feedback group). Results indicated that the heart rate changes produced by both the feedback and no‐feedback groups were significantly greater than those observed in the tracking group. There was no significant difference between the former two groups. Results also demonstrated that high cold‐pressor reactors were able to produce significantly larger heart rate changes than the low reactor subjects. A correlational analysis of physiological responses accompanying heart rate change suggested that the response topographies of the high and low cold‐pressor reactors differed as well. Finally, results indicated no relationship between coronary‐prone personality characteristics, as measured by the Jenkins Activity Scale, and either cold‐pressor reactivity or heart rate control performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-581
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1978


  • Blood pressure
  • Calf blood flow
  • Cold‐pressor reactivity
  • Heart rate
  • Jenkins Activity Scale
  • Respiration
  • Stroke volume


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