OPERANT CONDITIONING OF HEART RATE SLOWING

Bernard T. Engel, Stephen P. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to see if heart rate (HR) slowing could be operantly conditioned. Ten experimental Ss and five yoked‐control Ss were studied. Experimental Ss were positively reinforced for slowing their HR on a beat‐by‐beat basis, whereas yoked‐control Ss were reinforced in a pattern based on the performance of paired experimental Ss. The data showed that: some Ss can be taught to slow their HR by means of an operant conditioning procedure; Ss appear to learn better when they do not infer correctly what the response is that they are controlling; the conditioned HR response is apparently not mediated by changes in breathing; and reinforcement, per se, is not adequate to lower HR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalPSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1966

Keywords

  • Heart rate
  • Operant conditioning
  • Yoked‐control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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