Changes in Hemodynamic Response to Mental Stress with Heart Rate Feedback Training
- Cite this article as:
- Goodie, J.L. & Larkin, K.T. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2001) 26: 293. doi:10.1023/A:1013101820240
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This study was designed to examine underlying hemodynamic changes that accompany observed reductions in heart rate (HR) response to mental stress following HR feedback training. Twenty-five college males, assigned to either a HR feedback training group (FB+) or a control group (FB−), were presented with a videogame and mental arithmetic challenge, as HR, blood pressure, and impedance cardiography-derived measures of hemodynamic functioning were recorded. During training, the FB+ group received HR feedback and the FB− group was not provided with HR feedback while playing a videogame. At posttraining, results revealed that the FB+ group exhibited significantly lower HR, systolic blood pressure, stroke volume, and total peripheral resistance responses to the videogame compared to that at pretraining. There was no evidence that the acquired skills generalized to a mental arithmetic task. These results suggest that HR feedback training is an effective method for reducing cardiovascular and hemodynamic responses to a mental stressor; however, the generalizability of this effect remains questionable.