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Regulation of Human Heart Rate

Part 1
Why do you need to have a heart? Why do you need to have blood
circulate to all the parts of your body?
How does your heart pump blood? What is a heart beat?
Does your heart always beat at the same rate?
List some activities or stimuli that you think may increase a person's
heart rate. An activity is somethin a person does! and a stimulus is an
input from the environment around a person.
Why would it be useful for the heart to beat faster durin these activities
or in response to these stimuli?
Are there any activities or stimuli that you think may decrease a person's
heart rate?
"oday! after you learn how to measure heart rate accurately! your roup
will desin an e#periment to test how a stimulus or activity affects heart
rate. Durin the ne#t laboratory period! you will carry out your e#periment!
analy$e your data! and prepare a poster describin your e#periment.
Measuring Heart Rate Accurately
%ach time the heart beats! blood is pumped into the arteries. As the blood
sures into the arteries durin a heart beat! each artery stretches and
bules. "his brief bule of the artery is called a pulse. "o measure heart
rate you will count the number of pulses in the artery in the wrist in a &'
second interval.
"o feel the pulse! find the artery in your partner's wrist. (lace the tips of
the first two finers of one hand on the palm side of your partner's wrist!
)y Dr. *nrid Waldron! Department of )ioloy! +niversity of (ennsylvania! , -'1&. A Word file .which you can edit/!
"eacher (reparation 0otes, and additional activities are available at http122serendip.brynmawr.edu2sci3edu2waldron2.
over toward the thumb side of his or her wrist. 4ou may need to press
5uite firmly in order to feel the pulse of blood which each heart beat sends
throuh the artery. Don't use your thumb to feel the pulse in the wrist!
because your thumb has a pulse of its own.
(ractice countin the number of pulses in &' seconds. 6ultiply that
number by - to et heart rate .number of heart beats per minute/.
After you have practiced! it is important to check the accuracy of your heart
rate measurements. Work in a roup of four usin the followin procedure
to test and improve the accuracy of heart rate measurements.
.1/ 7hoose one person in your roup to be the sub8ect! one person to
measure the pulse count in the left arm! and one person to measure the
pulse count in the riht arm. "he fourth person in the roup will use the
stop watch to time a &' second interval! and will indicate when the count of
beats should bein and end.
.-/ )oth people who are measurin pulse count should write down the
number of beats for the &' second interval before sayin the number out
(ulse count in &' seconds 333333
0e#t! compare the results found by the two different people who were
measurin pulse counts. Did you both count about the same number of
pulses in the &' second interval? *f you ot different results! can you fiure
out why?
.&/ "ry to improve your techni5ue! and repeat step - until both people who
are measurin pulse counts et the same number of pulses in the &'
second interval .or within 1 or - of the same number/.
.9/ :nce you have accurate readins! use the final! accurate set of
measurements to calculate the heart rate for this sub8ect .beats per
Heart rate ; 33333 beats per minute
.</ After this! you should switch roles. "he people who were measurin
pulse counts should now be the sub8ect and the timer! and the people who
were the sub8ect and the timer should now measure pulse counts. =epeat
steps ->& until the heart rate measurements are accurate.
Designing Your Experiment
Discuss how you could test your ideas concernin activities or stimuli
which may increase or decrease heart rate. 7hoose a hypothesis that
your roup would like to test in your ne#t lab class. Write your hypothesis
(lan your e#perimental procedure.
"ry to keep everythin constant! e#cept for the one stimulus or activity you
want to test. "his will allow you to measure the effect of the stimulus or
activity you are testin! and minimi$e confoundin effects due to any other
factors that may influence heart rate. ?or e#ample! unless you are
measurin the effects of physical activity try to avoid any physical activity
that could influence your results .e.. chanin seats or chane in
(lan to have each person in the roup be a sub8ect in the e#periment! in
order to see whether different people have the same heart rate response
to your stimulus or activity.
*n the space below! describe the procedure for your e#periment. )e
specific about what you plan to do to your sub8ects .the stimulus/ or what
you want your sub8ects to do .the activity/. @pecify when and how often
you will measure heart rateA you will need to measure restin heart rate
two or three times before your stimulus or activity! and you will need to
measure heart rate durin and2or after your stimulus or activity.
List of @pecific 0umbered @teps in 4our (rocedure
4our teacher will check your plan for your e#periment! and make any
suestions that could improve the e#perimental procedure. Discuss
these suestions and! if you decide to make any chanes in your
e#perimental procedure! incorporate these chanes in your description of
your procedure.
Getting Ready to Do the Experiment
*f you need to brin anythin to do your e#periment ne#t time! decide who
will brin the necessary materials or e5uipment.
6ake a data sheet to collect the data durin your e#periment ne#t time.
"he data sheet should include places to record the
names of each student in the roup
restin heart rates .pulse counts/ for each sub8ect before the
stimulus or activity! and the heart rates durin and2or after the
stimulus or activity
anythin you notice which miht affect the results! for e#ample! other
thins which may be happenin in the room durin your e#periment
or chanes in each sub8ect's mood durin the e#periment.
*f you complete these activities before the end of the period! you can bein
the Hypothesis and 6ethods sections of your poster. .@ee below./
Doing Your Heart Rate Experiment
=eview your e#perimental plan from last time! and carry out the
e#periment for each sub8ect in your roup. =ecord your data in the data
sheets you prepared.
Analy!ing Your Results
Discuss the best way to analy$e your data in order to test your hypothesis.
4ou may want to use one of the followin methods of analysis.
.1/ ?or each sub8ect! calculate the chane in heart rate .difference
between the restin heart rate and the heart rate durin or after the
stimulus or activity/. 7alculate the averae chane in heart rate for all
sub8ects in the e#periment. 6ake a table to show the individual values and
the averae chane in heart rate.
.-/ ?or each sub8ect! raph the restin heart rate and the heart rate durin
and2or after the stimulus or activity. 7alculate the averae restin heart
rate and the averae heart rate durin and2or after the stimulus or activity.
Braph these averaes. )e sure to label both a#es of any raph that you
%ach student should analy$e the data and attach your table or raphs.
Do your results support your hypothesis? What conclusions can you
draw from your e#periment?
%ach roup should prepare a poster on their heart rate e#periment. "his
poster should e#plain your hypothesis! the basic procedures you used!
your main results .summari$ed in a raph and2or table/! and your