Jacob M. Ham

Date of Graduation

Summer 2015


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

D. Wayne Mitchell


Anticipatory heart rate (AHR) and response latency (RL) in adult humans were investigated while solving a series of 5-sec and 10-sec Delayed-Match-to-Sample-Task (DMTST) problems. Eschman et al. (2014) proposed an AHR profile that represented the allocation of attentional processes while solving DMTST problems. The profile was represented by a systematic linear increase in AHR followed immediately by a linear decrease in AHR. The purpose of this study was to measure and observe changes in AHR as a function of DMTST difficulty (5-sec vs. 10-sec delay) and concordant changes in RL. The AHR profile was found in the 10-sec Delay group but was not evident in the 5-sec delay. Significant increases in phasic AHR were found on Novel DMTST problems versus the Repeating (control) DMTST problems with increases more evident in the 5-sec Delay group than the 10-sec group. No significant differences in RL between the 5-sec and 10-sec Delay groups were found, but RLs were found to be faster for the Repeating DMTST problems compared to the Novel DMTST problems. In sum, the findings of this study provide support for AHR as a valid measure of the allocation of attentional processing in adults.


heart rate, acceleration, deceleration, anticipatory, delayed match-to-sample, response latency, encoding, cognitive processing

Subject Categories



© Jacob M. Ham

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