Concept: Heart rate
Interoception is the sensing of physiological signals originating inside the body, such as hunger, pain and heart rate. People with greater sensitivity to interoceptive signals, as measured by, for example, tests of heart beat detection, perform better in laboratory studies of risky decision-making. However, there has been little field work to determine if interoceptive sensitivity contributes to success in real-world, high-stakes risk taking. Here, we report on a study in which we quantified heartbeat detection skills in a group of financial traders working on a London trading floor. We found that traders are better able to perceive their own heartbeats than matched controls from the non-trading population. Moreover, the interoceptive ability of traders predicted their relative profitability, and strikingly, how long they survived in the financial markets. Our results suggest that signals from the body - the gut feelings of financial lore - contribute to success in the markets.
Background The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is highly effective in reducing mortality among patients at risk for fatal arrhythmias, but inappropriate ICD activations are frequent, with potential adverse effects. Methods We randomly assigned 1500 patients with a primary-prevention indication to receive an ICD with one of three programming configurations. The primary objective was to determine whether programmed high-rate therapy (with a 2.5-second delay before the initiation of therapy at a heart rate of ≥200 beats per minute) or delayed therapy (with a 60-second delay at 170 to 199 beats per minute, a 12-second delay at 200 to 249 beats per minute, and a 2.5-second delay at ≥250 beats per minute) was associated with a decrease in the number of patients with a first occurrence of inappropriate antitachycardia pacing or shocks, as compared with conventional programming (with a 2.5-second delay at 170 to 199 beats per minute and a 1.0-second delay at ≥200 beats per minute). Results During an average follow-up of 1.4 years, high-rate therapy and delayed ICD therapy, as compared with conventional device programming, were associated with reductions in a first occurrence of inappropriate therapy (hazard ratio with high-rate therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13 to 0.34; P<0.001; hazard ratio with delayed therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.40; P<0.001) and reductions in all-cause mortality (hazard ratio with high-rate therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.85; P=0.01; hazard ratio with delayed therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.30 to 1.02; P=0.06). There were no significant differences in procedure-related adverse events among the three treatment groups. Conclusions Programming of ICD therapies for tachyarrhythmias of 200 beats per minute or higher or with a prolonged delay in therapy at 170 beats per minute or higher, as compared with conventional programming, was associated with reductions in inappropriate therapy and all-cause mortality during long-term follow-up. (Funded by Boston Scientific; MADIT-RIT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00947310 .).
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex condition, characterized by severe disabling fatigue with no known cause, no established diagnostic tests, and no universally effective treatment. Several studies have proposed symptomatic treatment with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) supplementation. The primary endpoint was to assess the effect of CoQ10 plus NADH supplementation on age-predicted maximum heart rate (max HR) during a cycle ergometer test. Secondary measures included fatigue, pain and sleep.
To assess the validity of RR intervals and short-term heart rate variability (HRV) data obtained from the Polar V800 heart rate monitor, in comparison to an electrocardiograph (ECG).
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether elevated resting heart rate (RHR) is an independent risk factor for mortality or a mere marker of physical fitness (VO2Max). METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study: the Copenhagen Male Study, a longitudinal study of healthy middle-aged employed men. Subjects with sinus rhythm and without known cardiovascular disease or diabetes were included. RHR was assessed from a resting ECG at study visit in 1985-1986. VO2Max was determined by the Åstrand bicycle ergometer test in 1970-1971. Subjects were classified into categories according to level of RHR. Associations with mortality were studied in multivariate Cox models adjusted for physical fitness, leisure-time physical activity and conventional cardiovascular risk factors. RESULTS: 2798 subjects were followed for 16 years. 1082 deaths occurred. RHR was inversely related to physical fitness (p<0.001). Overall, increasing RHR was highly associated with mortality in a graded manner after adjusting for physical fitness, leisure-time physical activity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Compared to men with RHR ≤50, those with RHR >90 had an HR (95% CI) of 3.06 (1.97 to 4.75). With RHR as a continuous variable, risk of mortality increased with 16% (10-22) per 10 beats per minute (bpm). There was a borderline interaction with smoking (p=0.07); risk per 10 bpm increase in RHR was 20% (12-27) in smokers, and 14% (4-24) in non-smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated RHR is a risk factor for mortality independent of physical fitness, leisure-time physical activity and other major cardiovascular risk factors.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to revolutionize the way research is conducted in many scientific fields [1, 2]. UAVs can access remote or difficult terrain , collect large amounts of data for lower cost than traditional aerial methods, and facilitate observations of species that are wary of human presence . Currently, despite large regulatory hurdles , UAVs are being deployed by researchers and conservationists to monitor threats to biodiversity , collect frequent aerial imagery [7-9], estimate population abundance [4, 10], and deter poaching . Studies have examined the behavioral responses of wildlife to aircraft [12-20] (including UAVs ), but with the widespread increase in UAV flights, it is critical to understand whether UAVs act as stressors to wildlife and to quantify that impact. Biologger technology allows for the remote monitoring of stress responses in free-roaming individuals , and when linked to locational information, it can be used to determine events [19, 23, 24] or components of an animal’s environment  that elicit a physiological response not apparent based on behavior alone. We assessed effects of UAV flights on movements and heart rate responses of free-roaming American black bears. We observed consistently strong physiological responses but infrequent behavioral changes. All bears, including an individual denned for hibernation, responded to UAV flights with elevated heart rates, rising as much as 123 beats per minute above the pre-flight baseline. It is important to consider the additional stress on wildlife from UAV flights when developing regulations and best scientific practices.
In heart transplant (HTx) recipients, there has been reluctance to recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT) due to denervation and chronotropic impairment of the heart. We compared the effects of 12 weeks' HIIT versus continued moderate exercise (CON) on exercise capacity and chronotropic response in stable HTx recipients >12 months after transplantation in a randomized crossover trial. The study was completed by 16 HTx recipients (mean age 52 years, 75% males). Baseline peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak ) was 22.9 mL/kg/min. HIIT increased VO2peak by 4.9 ± 2.7 mL/min/kg (17%) and CON by 2.6 ± 2.2 mL/kg/min (10%) (significantly higher in HIIT; p < 0.001). During HIIT, systolic blood pressure decreased significantly (p = 0.037) with no significant change in CON (p = 0.241; between group difference p = 0.027). Peak heart rate (HRpeak ) increased significantly by 4.3 beats per minute (p = 0.014) after HIIT with no significant change in CON (p = 0.34; between group difference p = 0.027). Heart rate recovery (HRrecovery ) improved in both groups with a trend toward greater improvement after HIIT. The 5-month washout showed a significant loss of improvement. HIIT was well tolerated, had a superior effect on oxygen uptake, and led to an unexpected increase in HRpeak accompanied by a faster HRrecovery . This indicates that the benefits of HIIT are partly a result of improved chronotropic response.
Pre-exercise nutritional practices for active females exercising for mood, cognitive and appetite benefits are not well established. Results from an initial field pilot study showed that higher energy intake at breakfast was associated with lower fatigue and higher overall mood and alertness post-exercise (all p < 0.05). In a follow-up, randomised, controlled trial, 24 active women completed three trials in a balanced, cross-over design. At 0815 h participants completed baseline cognitive tasks, mood and appetite visual analogue scales (VAS) and were administered a cereal breakfast (providing 118 or 236 kcal) or no breakfast. After 45 min, they completed a 30 min run at 65% heart rate reserve (HRR). Parameters were re-assessed immediately after exercise, then hourly until lunch (~1240 h), immediately post-lunch and at 1500 and 1900 h via a mobile phone. Breakfast enhanced feelings of relaxation before lunch (p < 0.05, d > 0.40), though breakfast was detrimental for working memory mid-afternoon (p = 0.019, d = 0.37) and mental fatigue and tension later in the day (all p < 0.05, d > 0.038). Breakfast was also beneficial for appetite control before lunch irrespective of size (all p < 0.05, d > 0.43). These data provide information on pre-exercise nutritional practices for active females and suggest that a small breakfast eaten prior to exercise can benefit post-exercise mood and subjective appetite ratings.
Heart rate variability (HRV) is widely used to assess autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. It is traditionally collected from a dedicated laboratory electrocardiograph (ECG). This presents a barrier to collecting the large samples necessary to maintain the statistical power of between-subject psychophysiological comparisons. An alternative to ECG involves an optical pulse sensor or photoplethysmograph run from a smartphone or similar portable device: smartphone pulse rate variability (SPRV). Experiment 1 determined the simultaneous accuracy between ECG and SPRV systems in n=10 participants at rest. Raw SPRV values showed a consistent positive bias, which was successfully attenuated with correction. Experiment 2 tested an additional n=10 participants at rest, during attentional load, and during mild stress (exercise). Accuracy was maintained, but slightly attenuated during exercise. The best correction method maintained an accuracy of +/-2% for low-frequency spectral power, and +/- 5% for high-frequency spectral power over all points. Thus, the SPRV system records a pulse-to-pulse approximation of an ECG-derived heart rate series that is sufficiently accurately to perform time- and frequency-domain analysis of its variability, as well as accurately reflecting change in autonomic output provided by typical psychophysiological stimuli. This represents a novel method by which an accurate approximation of HRV may be collected for large-sample or naturalistic cardiac psychophysiological research.
Reasons for performing the study: The ability of horses to habituate to novel objects influences safety in the horse-human relationship. However, the effectiveness of different habituation techniques has not been investigated in detail. Objectives: 1) To investigate whether horses show increased stress responses when negatively reinforced to approach novel objects, compared with horses allowed to voluntarily explore the objects and 2) whether a negatively reinforced approach facilitates object habituation. Methods: Twenty-two 2-3-year-old Danish Warmblood geldings were included. Half of the horses (NR group) were negatively reinforced by a familiar human handler to approach a collection of novel objects in a test arena. The other half were individually released in the arena and were free to explore the objects (VOL group). On the next day, the horses were exposed to the objects again without a human handler, to investigate the rate of habituation. Behavioural and heart rate responses were recorded. Results: All VOL horses initially avoided the unknown objects, whereas the handler was able to get all NR horses to approach and stand next to the objects within the first 2 min session. The NR horses had a significantly longer duration of alertness and a higher max heart rate in the first session. On the next day, however, NR horses spent significantly less time investigating the objects and had a shorter latency to approach a feed container, placed next to the objects, indicating increased habituation. Conclusion: A negatively reinforced approach to novel objects increases stress responses during the initial exposure but facilitates habituation in young horses. Potential relevance: Although a negatively reinforced approach appears beneficial for habituation, the procedure should be carefully managed due to increased stress responses in the horse, which may constitute a safety risk. Further experiments should aim to investigate differences in stimulus intensity.