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Ruth Goodlaxson's picture

This lab was an

This lab was an investigation of the human pulse. Who or what controls this pulse, and why does it fluctuate? To answer these questions, we measured the beats per minute of our own pulse under different conditions and in response to different stimuli.

We selected list of test conditions based on elements we thought might influence fluctuation, such as stress or thought. We compared these to our resting heart rates, which are as follows:

Samar the Beautiful: 73.96 BPM

Ruth the Not Lame: 71 BPM

Catrina the Supuhstar: 83.48 BPM


This is what we observed........

Embarassing Questions (Ruth): 99.14 BPM

Pushing on a Vein (Catrina): 59 BPM

Breath Holding (Samar): 89.67 BPM

Heavy Breathing (Ruth): 80.98 BPM

Arithmetic (Ruth): 78.67 BPM

Puzzle (Samar): 78 BPM

Tickling (Ruth): off the charts, couldn't register


Our observations suggest that outside stimuli definitely effect heart rate and pulse. Embarassing questions caused a huge leap in heart rate, probably due to a combination of embarassment and laughter. Working on a puzzle, however, did not seem to have a noticable effect on the rate of pulse. Strong emotions and physical responses seem to warrant a higher rate of pulse, but thinking hard like in arithmetic and puzzles didn't.

One new question raised was what makes certain stimuli more "upsetting" than others. There must be something internally that determines what effects pulse, and we need to make observations about the human body to determine what this is. For example, why were the questions asked embarassing? Also, we know laughter effects pulse, so we have to figure out what makes someone laugh.


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