This research was supported by the Deutsche For-schungsgemeinschaft (EL 101/3). I acknowledge the very helpful comments of Gregory Miller, Robert Stern and Thomas Elbert, the technical and statistical support by Werner Lutzenberger, the medical support by Wolfgang Larbig, the assistance in the lab by Renate Schweizer, and the very helpful comments in reviewing the manuscript by Ron Heslegrave.
Responses of the T-Wave Amplitude as a Function of Active and Passive Tasks and Beta-Adrenergic Blockade
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 231–239, March 1991
How to Cite
Rau, H. (1991), Responses of the T-Wave Amplitude as a Function of Active and Passive Tasks and Beta-Adrenergic Blockade. Psychophysiology, 28: 231–239. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1991.tb00415.x
- Issue online: 30 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Manuscript received November 22, 1989; accepted for publication May 21, 1990)
- T-wave amplitude;
- Beta-adrenoceptor blockade;
- Heart rate;
- Sympathetic myocardial activity;
- Mental arithmetic;
- Active and passive coping
This paper presents evidence that phasic changes in T-wave amplitude vary as a function of task conditions and beta-adrenergic drugs. Three experiments were designed to test the sensitivity of T-wave amplitude to manipulations in sympathetic arousal. In the first experiment, T-wave amplitude was recorded during an active behavioral task in which 32 subjects believed that they could control the duration of an aversive white noise and during a passive behavioral task in which another 30 subjects knew that they had no control. T-wave amplitude decreased to a greater extent in the active behavior group than in the passive group. In the second experiment, 9 subjects receiving one of two beta-adrenergic blockers and 10 subjects receiving placebo completed the active task. Task-induced reductions in T-wave amplitude were systematically blocked by the beta blockers. In the third experiment, 5 subjects received placebos and 15 received one of two different beta blockers. All subjects performed a mental arithmetic task. Subjects receiving a placebo, but not those receiving beta blockade, exhibited a significant reduction in T-wave amplitude during mental arithmetic.