Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1975, 41, 730.

@ Percepmal and Motor Skills 1975

PRECISE HEART-RATE CONTROL AND HEART-RATE PERCEPTION RICHARD A. MCPARLAND A N D CANDACE CAMPBELL California State Univmsity, Fullerton McFarland (1975) reported a significant positive correlation between the ability of Ss to increase their heart rates and their abiliry to accurately perceive their heart activity. Perception of heart activity was measured by having Ss shadow their resting heart rates by pressing a bunon in rhythm with their heartbeats as they perceived them. One would suppose that at least as strong a positive relationship between perception of heart activity and heart-rate control would be found when a heart-rate control task is employed as this task requires a more precise heart-rate adjustment than does a simple increase in heart rate. This hypothesis was tested using the heart-rate control task described by McFarland and Coombs (1974) in which Ss had to synchronize their heartbeats with a repetitive click stimulus so that, as often as possible, each click would be followed within 200 msec. by a heartbeat. Since the click stimulus was set at S's resting heart rate, large adjustments of heart rate were not necessary, but the adjustments had to be precise to move the heartbeats into the correct relationship to the click stimulus and keep them there. In the present study, there were three types of experimental periods, namely, Feedback = Ss could tell whether each heartbeat occurred at the correct time by observing where the R wave of their EKG occurred in relation to a 2 cm. "correct" area on the face of an oscillosocope; N o Feedback = Ss received the click stimulus but not the scope feedback; Rest = Ss just relaxed and received neither the stimulus nor the feedback. There were four 2-min. feedback periods alternated in a balanced order with four 2-min. no-feedback periods, and each of these test periods was separated from the next by a I-min. rest period. A PDP-12 computer automatically scored the heartbeats as correct or incorrect during all three types of periods. Ss' scores were obtained by subtracting percent correct heartbeats on rest trials from those on feedback and no-feedback trials respectively. After the heart-rate control task, each of the 24 Ss was assigned to one of three groups (low, medium, or high perception of heart activity) according to how accurately Ss' burton-pressing rate had matched their actual heart race during a perception test of heart activity given prior to the heart-rate control test. The over-all mean difference score (feedback - rest) was 2.81%, which was significantly better than chance or zero ( F = 8.21, df = 1/21, p .01). The difference between the feedback and no-feedback conditions was not significant ( F = 3.67, df = 1/21, p > .05). The average difference scores, feedback - rest, for the three perception groups were: Low = 5.75%, Medium - 4 2 8 y i , High = 4.37%. The F for level of perceived heart rate = .07 (df = 2 / 2 1 ) . The average difference scores for no feedback - rest were: Low = -.20, Medium = -.O3, Hlgh = 2.66. The F for perception of heart rate = .67 (df = 2/21). However, in this no-feedback case, it was shown that only the group with high perception of heart activity did better than chance ( t = 2.25, p . 0 6 ) . Other analyses indicated that there were no differences even approaching significance between the perceptual groups with respect to respiration rate or depth changes from rest ro test periods, resting heart-rate variability, or testing (chance) success level. These results indicate that accurate perception of interoceptive heart activity feedback has surprisingly little effect on heart-rate control scores in this task especially when accurate exteroceptive feedback is provided. However, when Ss had to depend upon interoceptive feedback, only the group having high scores for perception of heart activity could achieve positive heart-rate control scores. Thus, while the results are not as striking as one might have supposed, they are at least in the expected direcdon.

Precise heart-rate control and heart-rate perception.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1975, 41, 730. @ Percepmal and Motor Skills 1975 PRECISE HEART-RATE CONTROL AND HEART-RATE PERCEPTION RICHARD A. MCPARL...
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