Individual differences in motor skills ability affect the self-regulation of heart rate

Thomas R. McCanne, Kate M. Hathaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Twenty males who scored relatively high on the rotor-pursuit motor skills task (High performance group) were given seven 2-minute trials to increase heart rate and seven 2-minute trials to decrease heart rate, as were 20 males who scored relatively low on the rotor-pursuit task (Low performance group). Visual analogue feedback was not provided during the first and last acceleration and deceleration trials but was presented during all other trials. Both groups of subjects were able to decrease heart rate significantly with and without feedback. Subjects in the High performance group were able to increase heart rate significantly with feedback and could generalize this increase to a no-feedback trial following feedback trials. Subjects in the Low performance group could not increase heart rate with or without feedback. Changes in respiration rate paralleled those noted for heart rate, but changes in chin electromyographic activity generally did not parallel the heart rate results. The heart rate data are discussed in terms of motor skills theories of self-regulation of heart rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1984


  • biofeedback
  • individual differences
  • motor skill


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