Mecheng News Publication
- Lecturer Dr Vanessa Diaz: Appointed Chair of the Science, Engineering & Technology panel
- Bright Club - Are bio-fuels funny?
- Mark Miodownik: Stuff Matters review
- 2013 UCL Bright Ideas Awards
- Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Medal
- In vivo preclinical stage started for the Triskele UCL Transcatheter Aortic Valve
- Formula Student 2013
- Macromolecular Rapid Communications
- Osborne Reynolds Research Student award
- Mr Santiago Suárez De La Fuente wins IMarEST Stanley Gray Fellowship 24 July 2013
- Senior Promotions for 2013
- Cell Electrospinning featured on BBC World News
- An encapsulated drug delivery system for recalcitrant urinary tract infection
- James Cook wins the first Parmigiani Spirit Award
- Prof Edirisinghe scoops third Royal Society award
- Event: "Lost in Translation" Tuesday November 19, 13:00
- Coastal storm talk online
- What's in a SNAME?
- What do you get an engineer for Christmas?
- Meet Helen Czerski, Bubble Scientist
- On the road again: UCL Racing 2014 seeks drivers
- Mark Miodownik: Bye bye brolly
- "Super-hydrophobic?" Meet Dr Manish K Tiwari
- "and the winner is..." researchers Sherwood and Nithyanandan pick up prizes
- In pictures: SET for Britain 2014
- New device for four-layered macromolecular particles invented
- Limitless: An interview with Professor Yiannis Ventikos
- Major changes to global shipping needed to reduce emissions
- UCL’s Media Communicator of the Year (Broadcast) is…
- MechEng undergraduates storm the UK top ten
- The passing of John Inns
- Six days, seven nights: my week as a Royal Navy submariner by Lucy Collins
- Usher shines amongst Chinese stars
- UCL team look to the future with new eco marathon entry
- Watching stressful movies triggers changes to your heartbeat
- Helen Czerski: Low carbon flight on the horizon?
- MechEng researcher/alumni scoop prestigious international naval awards
- James Cook awarded for his Bright Idea
- "Computational Biomedicine" a Q&A with Dr Vanessa Diaz
- The future of mitral valve surgery?
- Israfil's nano-delight
- Event: 'Animals and Engineers: learning from nature.'
- Academic promotions 2014
- Event: Micro and Nano Flows Conference 2014
- UCL MechEng to research ultra efficient engines in £6m EPSRC projects
- Jaguar Land Rover invests £1m in engine combustion research project
- Mark Miodownik’s excellent week
- MUSE team wins Marie Curie ‘blue skies’ research funding
- Biomaterials EPSRC hat-trick to help launch academic careers
- Stuff really matters: Mark Miodownik wins Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books
- REF 2014: The impact behind the power
- Prized naval architect Jeom Kee Paik joins UCL MechEng team
- Cover story: "Creating optically tunable protein bubbles..."
- Royal Navy honours Dan Hall with YARD Prize
- The new Pindelski-Barrack Bursary: Alumni fund places for MechEng undergraduates
- Dr Paul Hellier: Fuelling the Future
- Dr Sunthar Mahalingam wins international young researcher award
- Leverhulme Fellowship allows Vanessa Diaz to "imagine the impossible"
- Professor Paik claims William Froude Medal for Naval Architecture
- Review paper on engineering micro-organisms for designer fuels production
- UCL MechEng students head to Rotterdam with a Euro vision
- MechEng undergrads to mentor local schools in global STEM initiative
- Cover story: “Coupling Infusion and Gyration for the Nanoscale Assembly of Functional Polymer Nanofibers..."
- US National Academies laud Mark Miodownik's "Stuff Matters"
- Professor Edirisinghe appointed as fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
- Ship Design Team awarded Five Year $500,000 Grant
- Understanding the physics of pancakes to save sight
- Mark Miodownik receives AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award
- Alimohammadi claims best medical engineering thesis prize
Watching stressful movies triggers changes to your heartbeat
15 May 2014
Watching films with stressful scenes can trigger changes to the heart’s beating pattern, reports a new study published in the journal Circulation, Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.
Although the changes were small, and not likely to be risky for normal healthy individuals, the team from UCL, King’s College London and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital found that watching an emotionally charged film clip caused a disturbance to the normal heartbeat and a significant increase in blood pressure.
Dr Ben Hanson (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explained: “Our findings help us to better understand the impact mental and emotional stress can have on the human heart.
“This is the first time that the effects have been directly measured and although the results varied from person to person we consistently saw changes in the cardiac muscle. If someone already has a weakened heart, or if they experience a much more extreme stress, the effect could be much more destabilizing and dangerous.”
The team devised a procedure where 19 patients, who were undergoing routine cardiac catheterisation treatments using local anaesthetic, were shown a clip from the film Vertical Limit (see Notes to Editors).
Explaining why the researchers chose to use film clips as an emotional trigger, study author Professor Peter Taggart (UCLH Neurocardiology Unit) said: “Film clips are considered to be among the most powerful stimuli to elicit affective responses in the laboratory setting, and have several advantages including their dynamic nature, a sustained effect and the combination of visual and auditory inputs.”
The novel method used in the study means that for the first time the biological effects of mental and emotional stress have been recorded in healthy conscious patients.
Electrodes were placed in the ventricles of the heart to measure the changes in cardiac muscle, whilst the team simultaneously recorded changes to blood pressure and breathing speed.
Professor Jas Gill (Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital Department of Cardiology), who conducted the clinical side of the study said: “Placing the electrodes in veins and positioning them on the inside of the heart can be quite stressful for the patient. Making sure the patients remained relaxed throughout the procedure was vital so that the electrodes only recorded emotional stress from the film clip.”
A second part of this study involved the participants recreating the same breathing patterns they exhibited whilst viewing the clip. High levels of mental and emotional stress are well known to increase breathing rates, but until now the effects of this on cardiac muscle have been uncertain.
The results showed that neither blood pressure nor heartbeat were altered by replicating the breathing patterns, suggesting that changes in breathing brought on by a shock do not trigger the observed changes in heartbeat.
Dr Hanson explained: “This is the first study where the direct effect of mental and emotional stress on the heart has been observed. It helps us understand the mechanisms involved. Our results are really very exciting.”
Notes to editors
- For more information or to speak to one of the researchers, please contact Siobhan Pipa in the UCL Media Relations Office on tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9041, out of hours +44 (0)7917 271 364, e-mail: email@example.com
- ‘Effect of mental challenge induced by movie clips on action potential duration in normal human subjects independent of heart rate’ is published online in the journal Circulation, Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology on 15 May 2014.
- Journalists can obtain copies of the paper by contacting the UCL Media Relations Office.
- Example of the footage used in the study can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgtZZXlZ1T0
Page last modified on 15 may 14 16:44