The role of behavioral conditioning in the cardiovascular adjustment to exercise

Aleksander Perski, Bernard T. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if normal subjects could be trained to attenuate their cardiovascular responses while exercising on a bicycle ergometer. Ten young, untrained subjects exercised on a bicycle ergometer for five sessions. Half of the group was asked to slow their heart rate while exercising with heart rate feedback during exercise. Their average heart rate increase was 20% less than that of the control subjects, who exercised without feedback. The control subjects subsequently also received feedback during exercise and they were able to attenuate their heart rate responses comparably. Systolic blood pressure was not affected by feedback training. Changes in rate-pressure product paralleled changes in heart rate. These data show that autonomically mediated adjustments to exercise can be brought under experimental control through the use of appropriate behavioral techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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