Biochemical Measurements of the Human Stress Response
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE HUMAN PERFORMANCE LAB
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The threefold purpose of the study was a to identify biochemical response patterns to specific modes of stress, b to continue the search for suitable methods of quantifying stress in operational settings, and c to compare biochemical and psychophysiological stress indices. Three experiments were conducted using Air Force pilots as subjects. One experiment focused on the biochemical responses of student and instructor pilots who were involved in flight precautionaries or emergencies. A second experiment explored the biochemical response patterns to different modes of stress. The third experiment assessed the relationship between biochemical and psychophysiological indices in pilots performing a task in a simulated hostile environment. When viewed in its entirety, data collected in the contract demonstrate a general response to a variety of stress modes, which is characterized by an increase in the excretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine, a decrease in the ratio of dopamine to norepinephrine, and an increase in the ratio of norepinephrine to serotonin. When examined individually, the experiments revealed the following. Although there were some excretion patterns common to all stress conditions, specific response patterns were also noted for various modes of stress. A battery of indices was identified which reflected the stress response across many modes of stress in a variety of field settings, and biochemical and psychophysiological indices did not show good agreement.
- Stress Physiology