Relaxed and Alert: Patterns of T-Wave Amplitude and Heart Rate in a REST Environment

  • Gary Steel


One of the more constant areas of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) research has been psychophysiology. Perhaps the initial use of the psychophysiological approach was a consequence of D. O. Hebb’s (1955a) theories regarding the concept of drive and its relationship to nervous system activity; more likely is that the fascination with psychophysiological measures was a natural outcome of the interest in the strange effects reported by subjects (e.g., odd visual sensations, changes in body perception) that issued from the first sensory deprivation laboratories (Heron, 1957, 1961). Whatever reasons may exist, the continued presence of psychophysiology in the REST research field is certainly due, in part, to the fact that its measures offer easily-quantifiable indicators of that nebulous construct of “arousal”, a touchstone that has been a perennial favourite of REST theorists (Schultz, 1965) work on “sensoristasis”, and Zuckerman’s (1969a) ideas regarding “optimal level of stimulation”.


Nervous System Activity Sympathetic Nervous System Activity Body Perception Strange Effect Sympathetic Nervous System Activity Increase 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Steel

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