Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia as a Function of Cognitive Attention
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRSA was assessed from electrocardiographic recordings from 95 individuals between the ages of 18 and 22 at resting, and while they were completing three tasks. The tasks were computerized performance tasks that provided increasing levels of difficulty and memory load. Subjects were asked to respond when the same letter repeated itself either one back, two back, or three back, depending on the task. The number of true positives declined as the tasks became increasingly difficult, and the number of false positives increased between the one back task and the two back task, but decreased between the two back task and the three back task. RSA suppression was greater for individuals with a higher resting RSA. RSA was enhanced during the one back task and suppressed during the two and three back tasks. No correlation was found between resting RSA and RSA suppression versus true or false positive responses during each task. No effect was found between resting RSA and RSA suppression versus positive or negative affect at onset of task. These results suggest that although there is a relationship between resting RSA suppression and cognitive attention during the tasks, it was not exactly as expected. The data also suggest that as the task becomes more difficult, RSA is suppressed to a higher extent.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science