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Carotid baroreceptor stimulation has been shown to dampen pain. This study tested, in 40 normotensive adults, the hypothesis that pain is lower during systole when arterial baroreceptor stimulation is maximal than diastole when stimulation is minimal. The sural nerve was stimulated electrocutaneously to obtain a nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) threshold,(More)
In 2 experiments, the effects of mental stress on limb stiffness were investigated. The relative contribution to arm stiffness of individual muscle activity, co-contraction, muscle reflexes, and postural adjustments were examined. In each experiment, participants (N = 24, Experiment 1; N = 16, Experiment 2) held their supinated hand under a tray that they(More)
Catastrophizing is reliably associated with increased reports of clinical and experimental pain. To test the hypothesis that catastrophizing may heighten pain experience by increasing nociceptive transmission through spinal gating mechanisms, the present study examined catastrophizing as a predictor of pain ratings and nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR)(More)
It is well established that performance is influenced by pressure, but the underlying mechanisms of the pressure-performance relationship are poorly understood. To address this important issue, the current experiment evaluated psychological, physiological, and kinematic factors as mediators of the pressure-performance relationship. Psychological,(More)
The arterial baroreflex may mediate hypertensive hypoalgesia. Carotid baroreceptors can be artificially stimulated by neck suction and inhibited by compression. Effects of brief neck suction and compression on nociceptive responding and pain were studied in 25 normotensive adults. The sural nerve was electrocutaneously stimulated at threshold intensity(More)
Inhibition of the nociceptive flexion reflex during systole could be due to activation of the arterial baroreceptors. Physiological arousal, characterized by raised blood pressure, increases afferent activity from the arterial baroreceptors but attenuates the baroreflex. This study examined the effects of arousal on systolic inhibition of the nociceptive(More)
The nociceptive flexion reflex is inhibited during systole; this inhibition may be due to increased baroreceptor stimulation. It is yet to be determined whether other spinal reflexes are similarly modulated across the cardiac cycle. There is also evidence that stretch and tendon reflexes are facilitated by increased arousal. This study investigated the(More)
Hypertension is characterized by cognitive deficits. As evidence for impaired psychomotor speed, including slower reaction times, is mixed, we aimed to provide a detailed investigation of simple reaction time in hypertension. Pre-motor and motor reaction times were measured across the cardiac cycle in 30 hypertensives and 29 normotensives to determine the(More)
Although it is well established that performance is influenced by competitive pressure, our understanding of the mechanisms which underlie the pressure-performance relationship is limited. The current experiment examined mediators of the relationship between competitive pressure and motor skill performance of experts. Psychological, physiological, and(More)
Sensorimotor deficits in patients with essential hypertension may be due to impaired nerve function. Cutaneous sensory thresholds, median nerve sensory and motor conduction velocities, and median nerve sensory action potential amplitudes were assessed in 30 patients with unmedicated essential hypertension and 29 normotensives. Cutaneous sensory thresholds(More)