In this experiment, you will investigate the effect of altering the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on the rate at which the heart beats. Two different methods of ventilation will be used to investigate this phenomenon. The first method, hyperventilation, is when the breathing rate of an organism is greater than what is necessary for proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This will be achieved by a period of rapid breathing by the test subject. The second method, hypoventilation, occurs when there is a decrease in ventilation without a decrease in oxygen consumption or carbon dioxide production by the body. True hypoventilation is usually the result of a disease. The test subject will simulate this condition by holding his or her breath for a period of time. The test subject’s heart rate will be monitored using the Exercise Heart Rate Monitor.


In this experiment, you will

  • Monitor the heart rate of the test subject using the Exercise Heart Rate Monitor.
  • Evaluate the effects of hyperventilation and hypoventilation on heart rate.