Cardiovascular Reactivity & Heart Rate Variability
I am interested
in cardiovascular responses to stressful or demanding situations, i.e., cardiovascular
reactivity. In my laboratory, I measure sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous
system responses to stress including heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac contractility,
cardiac output, total peripheral resistance, and heart rate variability. I also
utilize ambulatory blood pressure monitoring techniques to examine stress responses
during daily activities and sleep.
Recently, I have focused on cardiac vagal responses to stress. I am particularly interested in cardiac vagal control, a source of heart rate variability that indexes parasympathetic control of the heart, because it may reflect poor behavioral and emotional regulation. Also, low resting cardiac vagal control has been related to risk for cardiovascular disease.
has shown that children and adolescents differ in their parasympathetic responses
to stress, much like they differ in their sympathetic responses (Salomon &
Matthews, 2000). Further, larger decreases in cardiac vagal control during stress
predicts lower resting cardiac vagal control approximately 3 years later in
youth. I have suggested that cardiac vagal reactivity may be an important component
of the stress response that is involved in the development of cardiovascular
disease (Salomon, 2005). In collaboration with Dr.
Jon Rottenberg, we have recently begun examining the relationship between
cardiac vagal responses to stress and depression (Rottenberg, Salomon, Gross & Gotlib, 2005) and biofeedback interventions for increasing cardiac vagal control.