Human Dive Response; Changes in Heart Rate While Resting and Submerged

1995 Words Oct 13th, 2012 8 Pages
The Changes of Heart Rate of Students during Human Dive Response when Resting and Submerged

Abstract The dive response is known more popularly as a mammalian dive reflex. It is a survival mechanism built into mammal’s bodies, essentially. Over the years, scientists have been determined to find what triggers mammals to have a decreased heart rate when submerged under water allowing them to stay under the water longer when they do not typically live under water. In this experiment, we tested three different conditions in the dive response to see whether heart rate decreased with each treatment. To characterize the dive response, we measured subjects’ heart rates at rest and with their face submerged under a tub full of room
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They had the same body posture but the only difference was not actually being submerged. The first part of this experiment was used as a control for the second and third experiment done. The second and third experiments had different treatments and were compared to the first experiment. The purpose of our latter portion of the experiment was to t-test the prediction that movement when submerged and breathing while on land can cause the heart rate to decrease in the dive response.

Material and Methods Each student got a white tub and filled it up with tap water from the sink. Students were paired with two or three other people and formed their groups. Each group got 1 stopwatch, 1 thermometer, and also learned how to each other’s pulse. The temperature of the water used from the sink were adjusted beforehand to about 23°C; room temperature. Water temperature was not re-adjusted to be hotter or colder. All tests were conducted in the same posture; leaning over the lab table with elbows resting on the table and the head down. Students worked in groups of three to four, and each one took turn being the experimental subject, taking the pulse and handling the stopwatch. To measure the radial pulse manually, the subject’s palm was facing upward. The index and middle fingers were used to locate the pulse between the radial bone, which is on the same side as the thumb, and with a slight pressure, the pulse could be found.