Control of Diastolic Blood Pressure in Man by Feedback and Reinforcement.
Technical rept. 25 Nov 70-1 Apr 71,
HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL BOSTON MASS DEPT OF PSYCHIATRY
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When provided with external feedback of their diastolic blood pressure and incentives to respond appropriately, normal male subjects learned to raise or lower their diastolic pressure in a 35-min training session. The differences between increase and decrease groups at the end of conditioning was 7.0 mm Hg or 10 of baseline. This difference was augmented to 10.4 mm Hg or 15 of voluntary control even though feedback and incentives were withdrawn. Heart rate was also influenced by the conditioning of diastolic pressure although less markedly. Further analysis indicated that when diastolic pressure is reinforced heart rate is partially reinforced in the same direction, accounting for the coincidental conditioning of the related cardiovascular measure. No consistent changes in respiration or post-session verbal reports were obtained. These results lend support to the possibility of therapeutic application of the techniques in patients with essential hypertension. Author
- Anatomy and Physiology