Cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic activity during self-regulation of heart period

John P. Hatch, Steve Borcherding, Courtney German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fourteen subjects attempted to increase and 15 attempted to decrease cardiac interbeat interval (IBI) while being provided with biofeedback of IBI, T-wave vector magnitude (TWVM), or respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Subjects in both groups showed directional change in IBI relative to a tracking control task, but the three types of feedback did not differentially affect performance. Voluntary IBI increases were associated with significant increases in TWVM and RSA, and voluntary IBI decreases were associated with significant reductions in RSA and nonsignificant reductions in TWVM. This pattern of results suggests that alterations in cardiac vagal tone are involved in voluntary IBI increases and decrease tasks. The results also suggest a role for cardiac sympathetic nervous activity in voluntary IBI increase. The role of changing respiration cycle period was also investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-106
Number of pages18
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992


  • T-wave amplitude
  • biofeedback
  • heart rate
  • operant conditioning
  • parasympathetic nervous system
  • respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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