Factors Influencing the Covariation of Heart Rate and Oxygen Consumption

  • Jasper Brener
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 114)


Numerous experimental phenomena indicate that activity in the highest levels of the nervous system is associated with predictable changes in cardiac performance. This may be due to the effects of the implicated neural processes on striate muscular (and respiratory) activity which in turn produces neural, chemical and mechanical stimuli that elicit variations in cardiac activity through known reflex pathways. Since striate muscular activity is a major source of variation in energy expenditure, it is to be expected that alterations in cardiac performance that are produced through this route will covary strongly with variations in metabolic rate. However, experimental evidence indicates that the higher nervous system may also produce systematic alterations in cardiac performance through pathways that do not involve the striate muscles. Thus, predictable cardiac responses may be produced in curarized subjects by stimulation of the motor brain, by instructions and by conditioning procedures. Changes in cardiac performance that are produced independently of striate muscular performance would be expected to occur relatively independently of variations in metabolic rate.


Operant Conditioning High Predictability Habituation Period Cardiac Control Heart Rate Deviation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasper Brener
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullEngland

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