A tale of two mechanisms: A meta-analytic approach toward understanding the autonomic basis of cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress.

Ryan C. Brindle, Annie T. Ginty, Anna C. Phillips, Douglas Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
381 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A series of meta-analyses was undertaken to determine the contributions of sympathetic and parasympathetic activation to cardiovascular stress reactivity. A literature search yielded 186 studies of sufficient quality that measured indices of sympathetic (n = 113) and/or parasympathetic activity (n = 73). A range of psychological stressors perturbed blood pressure and heart rate. There were comparable aggregate effects for sympathetic activation, as indexed by increased plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine, and shortened pre-ejection period and parasympathetic deactivation, as indexed by heart rate variability measures. Effect sizes varied with stress task, sex, and age. In contrast to alpha-adrenergic blockade, beta-blockade attenuated cardiovascular reactivity. Cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress would appear to reflect both beta-adrenergic activation and vagal withdrawal to a largely equal extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-976
Number of pages13
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume51
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A tale of two mechanisms: A meta-analytic approach toward understanding the autonomic basis of cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this