Heart-Rate Learning in the Noncurarized State, Transfer to the Curarized State, and Subsequent Retraining in the Noncurarized State
In view of the possibility of using the learning of visceral responses in the therapy of psychosomatic disorders of the cardiovascular system, this chapter provides information on an experiment that aims to determine if increases and decreases in heart-rate can be learned in a noncurarized state. The experiment also aims to determine if such learning transfers to the curarized state, since the possibility exists that the heart-rate changes would be mediated by changes in respiration or skeletal activity. A third purpose is to determine the effect on heart rate of additional training in the noncurarized state. The overall design of the experiment was to train rats to increase or decrease heart-rate in order to avoid electric shock in the noncurarized state and then to test for transfer of heart-rate learning to the curarized state.