The Mammalian Dive Response Essay

1457 Words Oct 11th, 2006 6 Pages

The presence of a dive response in humans when the face is submerged in water was studied. A lot of mammals have shown to exhibit a dive response known as the mammalian dive reflex. During this reflex bradycardia, a slowing of the heart rate, is shown. In this study, human subjects were put through various tests to determine if humans also exhibit bradycardia. Subject's heart rates were measured while breathing normally, while holding breath and while holding breath with face submerged in water. The results showed that there was a significant decrease in heart rate while submerged in water as compared to normal breathing or holding breath out of water. Many other studies have been done that agree with the results found in
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The results of the first t-Test between the holding breath treatment and the submerged treatment (Figure 1) showed a p-value of 1.03E-04. This was said to be significant. The second t-Test between the normal treatment and the submerged treatment (Figure 1) showed a p-value of 7.60E-06, which was also said to be significant. There were no other combinations of t-Test p-values that were significant. When looking at both p-values it was obvious that there was a greater difference in pulse rate between just holding ones breath and actually being submerged. This would lead to the belief that some type of diving response was shown. All the descriptive statistics that were done are shown in Figure 2. This was basically used to get the standard deviation of the results. All the statistical analysis was summarized in a chart (Figure 3) that shows the great decrease in heart rate while submerged as compared to the other treatments.

This study was designed to determine if humans could show a diving response induced by breath holding and facial submersion. The results from this study match a lot of other studies that have been conducted. This study showed a significant decrease in pulse rate with facial submersion. Kawakami et al. found in their study of the effects of face immersion breath-hold showed that there was a decrease of 10 beats from the resting level. Another study done by Heistad et al. showed similar affects of

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