Voluntary Control of Human Cardiovascular Integration and Differentiation through Feedback and Reward

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Science  07 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4017, pp. 90-93
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4017.90


Human subjects can learn to control the relation between their systolic blood pressure and heart rate when they are given feedback and reward for the desired pattern of blood pressure and heart rate. They can learn to integrate these functions (increase or decrease both jointly), or to a lesser degree, differentiate them (raise one and simultaneously lower the other). The extent of this learning is predicted by a behavioral and biological model that explains specificity of learning in the autonomic nervous system.