Biofeedback and Self-regulation

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 285–303 | Cite as

The effect of feedback-assisted reduction in heart rate reactivity on videogame performance

  • Kevin T. Larkin
  • Stephen B. Manuck
  • Alfred L. Kasprowicz


In 67 male volunteers, we examined the reduction of cardiovascular responsivity to a psychomotor challenge (videogame) achieved by use of heart rate (HR) feedback and effects of these procedures on concomitant behavioral performance. Each subject participated in a pretraining assessment of his cardiovascular responses to the videogame, a training condition, and a posttraining assessment identical to the initial evaluation. During training, subjects were assigned to one of four conditions: (a) a habituation control group receiving no instructions to alter HR (HC); (b) an instructions-only control group receiving instructions to maintain a low or unchanged HR during videogame presentations (IC); (c) a feedback group receiving instructions to reduce HR using ongoing HR feedback (FB−); or (d) a feedback group receiving instructions to lower HR and given HR feedback plus a score contingency in which total game score was jointly determined by subjects' game performance and success at HR control (FB+). Subjects receiving feedback (FB+, FB−) exhibited greater reductions in HR response to the videogame in the posttraining assessment than control (HC, IC) subjects; FB+ subjects showed greater HR reductions than subjects in any other group. FB+ and FB− subjects showed a lower SBP at posttraining relative to the two control groups, but no reduction in task-induced blood pressure reactivity. There were no group differences in videogame performance, either before or following training.

Key words

heart rate feedback cardiovascular reactivity videogame performance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin T. Larkin
    • 1
  • Stephen B. Manuck
    • 2
  • Alfred L. Kasprowicz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Oglebay HallWest Virginia UniversityMorgantown
  2. 2.University of PittsburghUSA

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