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The Effect Of Varying Heart Rate On Choice Reaction Time In Young, Physically Active Males

1025 words - 5 pages

Many activities of daily living in modern society require sufficient time to react. These stimuli often involve choosing the best option between several possibilities. Thus in neuroscience, an experimental measure of a person’s cognitive ability is by subjecting them to a Choice Reaction Time (CRT) test. Central processing and planning of fine motor patterns occurs within the cerebellum to rapidly perform choice reaction tasks (Welford, A 1980). Previous studies have shown that the arousal level of an individual (often measured as a percentage of heart rate), directly affects their cognitive performance relating to the processing of several choices. Davranche et al. (2004) ...view middle of the document...

Any participant categorized in the American College of Sports Medicines ‘Moderate’ or ‘High’ risk group will be excluded from this experiment. Additionally, if a subject demonstrates an objective visual deficit, they too will be excluded.

A Monarch 818E Cycle ergometer with manual load adjuster will be placed directly facing a computer containing a choice reaction time labVIEW program. Both the ergometer and computer will be adjusted to suit the participant’s comfort level. The labVIEW program is designed to activate one of two red circular indicator lights labelled either “Left” or “Right”. Each indicator light will have a diameter of 10mm and will activate after a randomly generated waiting period. Subjects will be instructed to complete the reaction movement in the direction shown by the indicator light. To nullify any learning effect that may be encountered, waiting periods will be randomly generated and each subject will be permitted 10 minutes to familiarise themselves with the laboratory equipment prior to commencement.

Subjects will be instructed to place the index finger of their dominant hand on the touch pad labelled “1”. The touch pads will be place so that the centre pad (number ‘1’) is situated at a neutral arm position. After activation of the indicator light, the participant is to lift their finger and touch the pads labelled “2”, “3” (size: 30mm x 30mm) 55mm from the centre point of touch pad “1” in the direction instructed by the indicator. Participants will be given a warning by the experimenter when the wait period commences. Each participant will be subjected to 4 different trail conditions, separated by at least 20 minutes rest or when the recorded heart rate is within 10BPM from their resting heart rate. In addition, sweat towels and water will be given to reduce the peripheral effects of fatigue and dehydration.

The subjects will be required to complete 25 trials of each of the 4 conditions. To eliminate the anticipatory effect, reaction times under 40ms will be disregarded in the analysis (Schmidt, 1991). Blood pressure and rate of perceived excursion (RPE) will be recoded before each set condition. If blood pressure exceeds normal physiological...

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