lab_report - The Diving Reflex in Mammals Spencer Syfrig...

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The Diving Reflex in Mammals Spencer Syfrig Performed February 22, 2007 MSCI 210
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Introduction The Mammalian Diving Reflex (MDR) is a naturally occurring reflex shown in many mammals. The reflex makes the body reduce it’s heart rate (bradycardia), reduce blood pressure, and shunt blood from extremities (Seedhouse 1). This has been discovered to be displayed in many mammals such as whales, seals, penguins, and even humans (Seedhouse 1). The biggest effect is blood shunting, which cuts blood from far out extremities such as fingers by as much as 99% and diverts it to vital organs such as the brain (Wolkomir 1). The Diving Reflex is thought to have been first observed in the early 1900’s in animals but it wasn’t believed to exist in humans until the 1950’s. There has been many studies on the Diving Reflex in humans involving many different variables. Swedish scientists tested the effect of water temperature and ambient air temperature on the diving reflex (Schagatay, E, and B Holm). They found that there was an inverse relationship between heart rate decreasing and water temperature(Schagatay, E, and B Holm). Another group of scientists compared the Diving Reflex of males and females (Ruiz, Jm, Bn Uchino, and Tw Smith). Their research showed that men generally displayed a greater decrease in heart rate then women when cold water was applied to the face (Ruiz, Jm, Bn Uchino, and Tw Smith). In this experiment, the heart rates of several subjects are taken during various states such as under water, above water, breathing, and holding breath. This was done in order to deduce if any of the subjects displayed a Diving Reflex. Four variables were compared: sex, body mass, time, and smoking habit.
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Materials Large plastic tubs or basin (large enough for a person to immerse their face in comfortably Ice and cold water Towels Snorkel Instrument for recording pulse such as digital finger pulse meter or a watch
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This lab report was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course MSCI 210 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '08 term at South Carolina.

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lab_report - The Diving Reflex in Mammals Spencer Syfrig...

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