Heart-rate and blood-pressure responses to speech alone compared with cognitive challenges in the Stroop task.

P. K. Stein, S. H. Boutcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heart-rate and blood-pressure responses are assumed to reflect the "stressfulness" of cognitive tasks. Cardiovascular responses to speech are often assumed to be negligible. To test these assumptions, 34 middle-aged men (mean age 45.0 +/- 6.1) performed three versions of the Stroop color-conflict task, passive responding, push-button, and verbal. Although difficulty of passive responding was rated 11.8 (fairly light), push-button 16.1 (between hard and very hard), and verbal Stroop 14.5 (hard), all were significantly different. Analysis of variance showed during tasks heart-rate responses and systolic blood pressure did not differ. Recovery average heart-rate and over-all heart-rate patterns were not different for the difficult tasks but were significantly different from the easy task. Diastolic blood-pressure changes during tasks were more similar for verbal tasks despite the difference in difficulty. Stressor heart-rate and systolic blood-pressure responses did not reflect the difficulty of this stressful task. Verbalization of responses contributed significantly to cardiovascular reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-563
Number of pages9
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1993

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