Some physiological correlates of hunger and pain

Bernard T. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study reports the effects of 2, 10, 14, and 24 hr. of food deprivation (hunger) and of 0, 2, 3, and 4 min. of cold-pressor stimulation (pain) on 12 autonomically mediated responses of 16 male 5s. It was observed that increased food deprivation led to: (a) decreases in pulse pressure which probably were primarily a result of decreases in systolic blood pressure; (b) linear increases in axillary temperature and salivary output; (c) a linear decrease in respiration rate; (d) increased incidence of Type 1 stomach contractions; and (e) decreased period of Type 1 contractions. Cold-pressor stimulation resulted in: (a) increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures; (b) increases in heart rate; (c) decreases in finger pulse volume; (d) some blocking of Type 1 stomach contractions (56% of the cases); or (e) decreased period of Type 1 contractions. It was concluded that: (a) the thermodynamic theory of hunger was not supported; (6) the relationship between intensity of hunger and level of autonomic response is not linear; (c) the pattern of response to immersion in iced water varied with the duration of immersion even though 5s did not report any differences in pain among the immersions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1959


  • food deprivation
  • hunger
  • pain
  • physiological correlates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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