Discrimination of Systolic Blood Pressure

Document Type


Publication Date



Blood Pressure, Control Subject, Systolic Blood Pressure, Previous Experiment, Health Psychology

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The ability of humans to discriminate systolic blood pressure (BP) was investigated in two experiments. In Experiment 1, 14 normal subjects were asked to make estimates of their systolic BP while performing both BP-elevating and BP-lowering tasks. They were given intermittent feedback throughout all 10 45-min sessions. Results indicated significant correlations and small absolute differences between estimated and measured BP for all subjects in almost all sessions. Experiment 2, undertaken 6 months after Experiment 1, assessed whether estimation accuracy by subjects who had available both external and interoceptive cues surpassed that of subjects which access to external cues only. Three subjects from the original group who showed consistently high motivation, and who improved in accuracy across the 10 sessions in the previous experiment, made estimates of BP while performing novel tasks with no feedback. Correlations between estimated and measured BP remained high for 2 of the 3. These results were compared with the accuracy of control subjects (3 for each experimental subject) who were asked to estimate experimental subjects' BP using only the cognitive information available to the experimental subjects. Control subjects also had high correlations between their estimates and the experimental subjects' measured BP but at lower levels than two experimental subjects. These findings are discussed in relation to subjects' possible use of interoceptive information.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, v. 8, issue 1, p. 45-61