Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 297–304

How carryover has an effect on recovery measures related to the area under the curve: theoretical and experimental investigations using cardiovascular parameters

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11517-011-0744-0

Cite this article as:
Sawada, Y. & Kato, Y. Med Biol Eng Comput (2011) 49: 297. doi:10.1007/s11517-011-0744-0


This study examines cardiovascular recovery from mental stress. Investigating the absence or presence of carryover effect, the effect of the final reactivity observed at the end of stressful task on the successive recovery, was the major objective. A recently advocated recovery measure related to the area under the curve, mean recovery rate (MRR), was investigated, comparing with the two relatives of this type, total carryover (TCO) and literally area under the curve (AUC). At the onset, a detailed theoretical formulation of each measure was carried out, starting from its original definition. It was predicted that MRR, but not TCO or AUC, could be free from the carryover effect. Next, 88 male students underwent a 5-min mental arithmetic during which blood pressure and heart rate were measured. Nearly all the theoretical predictions (i.e., 5/6 for the three recovery measures by two cardiovascular parameters) were supported by experimental data. There was only one exception: for heart rate, there was a proportional relationship even for MRR versus the final reactivity. Vagal rebound in the recovery period was conceived as the main contributor of this contradiction. The implications of these results for the understanding of future directions in recovery studies are discussed.


Recovery Carryover effect Area under the curve Relaxation baseline Vagal rebound 

Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychology, Center for Medical EducationSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan