Effect of Cold Pressor Test on Reaction Time
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The purpose of this study was to examine variation in reaction time when a Cold Pressor Test (CPT) was administered. The three minute CPT was conducted in attempt to increase a person’s sympathetic response. Heart rate and blood pressure measurements were recorded throughout the test to accurately monitor participant’s response. In the study, the CPT was paired with an audio reaction time test conducted during the first and third minute of the experiment. The recorded measurements were then compared to the subjects’ baseline heart rate, blood pressure, and reaction time to determine statistical significance. It was found that average initial heart rate increased (n=37, p=6.14E-7<0.05), however the average mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) showed no significant change, thus leading to inconclusiveness in the degree of sympathetic activation due to the CPT. Compared to the average reaction time in room temperature water, the average reaction time during the cold pressor test decreased (n=37, p=0.0307<0.05), suggesting that the CPT had an effect on the reaction time of the individual. Further studies that also increase the sympathetic response could be conducted in order to allow for a better comparison between sympathetic response and reaction time.
cold pressor test
sympathetic nervous system