Animal Physiology Lab Report

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The heart rate of an animal can be used as an indicator to identify when a stimulus evokes a reaction from the animal. Specifically in the case of humans’, there tends to be the cognitive ability to physically withhold a reaction from a stimulus and mask the involuntary reaction. However, the heart rate reacts immediately after a stimulus, and is not reigned in or controlled cognitively, so could the heart potentially be a true indicator of an individuals reaction to a stimulus?
The experiment that Life 103 L23 designed, recorded the heart rates response to an unknown fear stimulus and analyzed how strongly the heart reacted to the stimulus compared to a basal reading; as well as analyzing how much time elapsed after the stimulus
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An article in the Web of Science Database tested a similar hypothesis, that analyzed heart rate patterns in reference to fear stimulus and found large variabilities in heart rate due to conditioned responses. Some human fear stimulus are conditioned to the human population as whole, while other fear stimulus are regionally adapted. The fear stimulus could cause an increased heart rate for some individuals who were not aware it was occurring, and not cause any repercussions to another individuals who knew it was coming, simply because our fear stimulus could be conditioned to illicit a response from some, but not others. This variation in an individuals potential to startle could disprove our hypothesis. (Sevenster, Hamm, Beckers, and Kindt …show more content…
First, the lab section divided itself into two groups; one group would be the individuals to experience the fear stimulus without knowing when it would occur, while the remaining individuals would watch the fear stimulus occur before monitoring the heart rate, diastolic, and systolic blood pressures.
The fear stimulus was a large book being dropped onto the laboratory bench by the lab teaching assistant. Prior to the stimulus, each individual took a basal reading for heart rate, diastolic, and systolic blood pressure. Next, the stimulus occurred and the individuals who were kept blind about when the stimulus occurred were monitored by the individuals who knew the stimulus was occurring. The physical responses were measured immediately after the stimulus, and then measured again at two minute increments until ten minutes was reached or until the readings re-entered the region of the basal reading. Then the stimulus was repeated, and the individuals watched the stimulus occur, and had their physical measurements taken in the same manner. The data was recorded in the teaching assistant’s computer to be discussed and analyzed in the following weeks laboratory

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