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A research article published by Carthage professors Paul Martino, Justin Miller, Daniel Miller, and collaborators has been included in the Frontiers e-book “Horizon 2030: Innovative Applications of Heart Rate Variability.” 

?Frontiers ebooks showcase current and relevant topics in biomedical research. Each includes a co... “Frontiers ebooks showcase current and relevant topics in biomedical research. Each includes a collection of articles that utilize a novel approach, highlight challenges, and make significant contributions to our understanding of the selected research topic.” This e-book contains a collection of articles investigating heart-rate variability, which has been growing in popularity due to its association with crucial physiologic functions, including cardiac activity, autonomic nervous system activity, and physiologic stress. It is low-cost and non-invasive measure, and is used by researchers and practitioners across the fields of medicine and biomedical science, psychology, sports sciences, and several others.

The original article published in Frontiers of Neuroscience in 2020 is the result of over five years of student-driven research that utilizes a truly interdisciplinary approach to investigate both the physiologic and psychological effects of mild respiratory stress. The study was conducted on female college-aged individuals, a historically understudied population, who were separated into two groups based on their tendency to avoid or withdraw from social interaction. This tendency is known as behavioral inhibition (BI) and is marked by heightened sensitivity to environmental threats.

Both BI and non-BI groups were exposed to a respiratory stimulus (elevated CO2), and heart-rate variability (HRV) was measured as an index of physiologic stress. The study demonstrated that BI individuals exhibited higher physiologic stress than non-BI individuals before the respiratory stimulus, but there was no difference between the groups during and after exposure to the respiratory stimulus. These data suggest that behaviorally inhibited individuals experience more physiologic stress than non-behaviorally inhibited individuals at rest, which may result in a reduced capacity to respond appropriately to a mildly stressful event.

All data presented in the article was collected by Carthage research students and is part of this lab’s long history of using research as a tool to teach students first-hand about the rigors of scientific publishing, peer-review, experimental design, and biostatistics. The lab has included students from several majors — biology, chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, and exercise and sport science.

All three professors continue to collaborate with other past and present Carthage faculty, and faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Northern Colorado, Syracuse, and the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory.

Sponsoring Department, Office, or Organization:

Biology Department

For more information, contact:

Prof. Justin Miller: