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BME 461

Biomedical Instruments Lab.

Department of Biomedical Systems and


Informatics Engineering

Hijjawi School of Engineering Technology

Yarmouk University

Edited by

Yazan A. Gharaibeh
2011

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Table of Contents

Experiment 1: Introduction to Lab Tutor ............... 5

Experiment 2: Cardiovascular Effects of Exercise . 16

Experiment 3: Blood Pressure ............................. 28

Experiment 4: Breathing...................................... 40

Experiment 5: ECG and Heart Sound .................... 51

Experiment 6: ECG and Peripheral Circulation ..... 67

Experiment 7: Electroencephalogram (EEG) ........ 81

Experiment 8: Electromyogram (EMG) ................ 98

Experiment 9: Electro-oculogram (EOG)..............116

Experiment 10: Muscle.......................................128

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Lab Policy

It is essential that you come to the laboratory prepared for the


experiment. If you are not prepared, it is likely that you will not
finish the experiment and will receive little or no credit for it. You
should read through the experiment before the lab period, and
plan what you will do in the lab.

You may not bring nor consume any food or beverage in the
laboratories. Smoking is not permitted in the lab.

You may not remove equipment or supplies from the laboratory


without written permission of the instructor, teaching assistant,
or Laboratory Coordinator. Removal of any of the mentioned
items will be treated as academic dishonesty and may result in a
grade of zero for the course.

During the experimentyou need to take down all the information


and comments you will need to calculate and interpret your
results without relying on memory, notes on scraps of paper, or
your partners help later. You will probably be writing comments
about changes in procedures, observations or things which went
wrong in addition to filling in blanks with data.

Important: do not fill in the Report Sheet(s) during the lab period;
record all data directly in the lab note book.

After the labyour report must show the actual reasoning setups
you used to get to your results and conclusions, that is, how you
analyzed the data. It should also contain your explanations of
what went wrong, and Results and Conclusionsyour analysis of
the results and a concluding statement. Attached to these will be
the Report Sheet(s).

Your TA will periodically inspect your lab note book and will
make suggestions as needed.

The report for your experiment is due at the beginning of the next
lab meeting and will be collected by the TA.

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At the beginning of each lab period, you are to be prepared for a
brief Quiz which will be given and graded by your TA. The quiz
may cover:
1. The principles behind or the objectives of the days
experiment.
2. The principles behind the previous experiment.
3. The procedure for the days experiment.

You will be assigned a workstation in the laboratory. You are


responsible for keeping equipment clean and in good condition.
This includes making certain that all items are put away at the end
of the lab period. In addition to your station, you are responsible
for keeping the common areas (those used by all students) of the
lab clean.

Most experiments have several parts; students must alternate in


doing these parts as they are expected to work in group.

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Lab Safety

Your laboratory instructor will usually point out the safety-


related aspects of each experiment. However, you are responsible
for exercising caution in the laboratory, and for being aware of
and following safety precautions and procedures.

A well-run laboratory is generally a safe place, despite the large


number of people. However, one should always try to minimize
the chance of a serious accident occurring, and carrying out
laboratory operations in the safest way possible is a part of good
lab technique.

If you are unsure what to do about something, bring it to the


attention of your TA. Keeping the lab safe and in good order
requires the cooperation of everyone in the class.

Report all equipment problems to Lab Instructor or Lab


Technician.

Laboratory and equipment maintenance is the responsibility of


not only the Lab Technician, but also the students. A concerted
effort to keep the equipment in excellent condition and the
working environment well-organized will result in a productive
and safe laboratory.

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Objective
In this set of experiments, students will make some simple recordings using a finger pulse
transducer to become familiar with the PowerLab hardware and the features in LabTutor
that they will use throughout their laboratory course. More specialized features will be
explained to them as they come to use them in specific laboratories.

Material Provided for the Introduction to LabTutor


Laboratory
Introduction to LabTutor experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout

Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.


Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818]
Finger pulse transducer [MLT1010]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant safety notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse transducer is perfectly safe when connected to Input 1 or Input 2
of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not isolated and must not be used for
direct electrical connection to human subjects.

Recording from the pulse transducer


Noise
The MLT1010 finger pulse transducer is a very sensitive instrument. Even slight
movements by a volunteer can result in noisy recordings. Volunteers should
keep their hands still during pulse recordings.

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Introduction
You will make some simple recordings using a finger pulse transducer to become
familiar with the PowerLab hardware and the features in LabTutor that you will
use throughout your laboratory course. More specialized features will be
explained to you when you come to use them in specific laboratories.

Background
ADInstruments provides hardware and software to acquire, store, and analyze
data. Figure 1 shows a summary of this acquisition. First, the signal of interest
(blood pressure, body temperature, etc.) must be converted into an analog
voltage. This is done by a transducer. This voltage, whose amplitude usually
varies continuously over time, is monitored by the hardware, which can modify it
by amplification and filtering, processes called signal conditioning. Signal
conditioning may also include zeroing, for example the removal of an unwanted
steady offset voltage from a transducers output. After signal conditioning, the
analog voltage is sampled at regular intervals and converted from analog to
digital form before transmission to the attached computer where it is displayed
appropriately.

Figure 1. A summary of data acquisition using a PowerLab system.

The PowerLab hardware unit


The basic hardware is a PowerLab unit, a recording instrument that measures
electrical signals, through the inputs on its front panel. It can also generate
output signals. Added hardware such as front-ends and pods can extend its
capabilities. There are various PowerLab models with different numbers of
channels and other variations; some have front-ends built in. The PowerLab
4/25T described here is one designed especially for the teaching laboratory.
This four-channel recording instrument has built-in front-ends called Bio
Amplifiers that allow optimal recording of biological signals. A built-in Isolated
Stimulator provides human-safe electrical stimuli that you will use in selected
exercises.

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Figure 2. The front panel of the PowerLab 4/25T.

In your experiments, you simply attach appropriate cables to connectors on the


front of the PowerLab, and measure the signals in LabTutor. The hardware is
controlled through the software, so there are no knobs or dials to fiddle with.

LabTutor software
LabTutor is a web-based software package designed specifically for laboratory
teaching. It controls the hardware sampling, and, in the LabTutor panel, displays
the sampled and digitized data points and reconstructs the original waveform by
drawing lines between the points. The display format resembles a traditional
chart recorder, with the scrolling area of the LabTutor panel acting as the paper.
Your digital data is stored for later retrieval. The software allows you to
manipulate and analyze the data very simply in a variety of ways.

Organization of LabTutor laboratories


Every LabTutor experiment is organized in basically the same way. From the
master index you will find a link to the index page of the assigned experiment
which may already be pre-loaded onto your computer.
Every experiment begins with an index page. On this page there is a brief
introduction and a link to background material that may already have been given
to you by your instructor prior to your laboratory. This page also includes a list of
learning objectives. The subsequent exercises allow you to accomplish the
specified learning objectives. Each exercise includes highlighted text with links
to pop-up windows containing additional information, helpful tips, and useful
references to LabTutor features. Each exercise page contains a LabTutor panel
in which data is recorded.

Following each Exercise page is an Analysis page. Data that you recorded
during the exercise is available here for you to make measurements on and you
complete any tables or graphs that are required.
At the end of the experiment is the Report section. Any recordings that are
required for your report are reproduced here, along with the tables and graphs
that you have completed. This section also contains questions that you can

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answer by typing into the spaces provided. Your instructor will advise you how to
submit your completed lab report.

What you will do in the laboratory


You will complete four exercises during this class period:

1. Connecting a transducer. You will learn how to connect a simple finger


pulse transducer to the PowerLab.
2. Recording a signal. Here you will record a signal and do some basic
analysis of it.
3. Annotating a record. You will learn how to add comments to a recording
at specific times.
4. Analysis. In this exercise you will become familiar with some of the key
analysis features in LabTutor. These include: making measurements with
the waveform cursor, using the marker and the waveform cursor, inserting
your data into a table and overlaying your data.

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Procedure
1. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.
2. Place the pressure pad of the finger pulse transducer against the distal segment
(the tip) of the middle finger or thumb of either hand. Use the Velcro strap to
attach it firmly - neither loose nor tight.

If the strap is too loose, the signal will be weak, intermittent, or noisy. If the strap
is too tight, this will reduce blood flow to the finger, thus weakening the signal,
and may also cause discomfort. You may need to adjust the strap in the next stage
of the exercise.

3. Connect the plug from the finger pulse transducer's cable to the socket for Input 1.

Recording Data
1. Click the Start button in the top right-hand corner of the LabTutor panel to begin
recording your finger pulse data.
2. Click the Autoscale button at the top of the LabTutor panel. The data will now be
scaled to occupy most of the height of the channel. You will use the Autoscale
button frequently to optimize the display of your data.
3. After about 20 seconds, click Stop. The data that you have recorded is
automatically saved when you stop recording.
4. Your record should now resemble this.

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Recording Hints
Hand and fingers should be kept still, perhaps resting in the lap. Any movement
will register as a signal, probably larger than the pulse.
If you have trouble recording a strong pulse, try moving the transducer to the
index finger or thumb. To get a good signal, you may need to leave the transducer
on the finger or thumb for a few minutes while the finger warms up.
The amount of tension of the Velcro strap is critical in getting good results. Too
loose and the signal will be very small. Too tight and the signal will also be too
small. A moderate pressure is best.

Scrolling
The scroll bar allows you to move back and forward through your file. You can think of
your recording as a large strip of paper scrolling past the LabTutor panel.

The scroll bar is primarily an analysis tool, allowing you to review and locate data of
interest anywhere within a file.

During recording you can also review your data, without stopping recording, by initiating
Scroll Review mode. Scroll Review mode is engaged by either dragging the scroll bar
thumb to the left or clicking anywhere in the incoming data. To return to normal scrolling
mode click the Move to End of Data button.

Generally, while recording, you will be more interested in examining the incoming signal
than reviewing earlier recorded data.

Horizontal Compression Buttons


With the Horizontal Compression buttons, located at the bottom left of a LabTutor panel,
you can compress or expand the Time axis to see more or less of the recorded data.

Click a few times on the Compression buttons to see what this does to the display of your
data. The extent of compression is displayed as a ratio on the Ratio button, which is
located between the Compression buttons.

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Click the Ratio button: a pop-up menu appears; from this you can choose the
compression directly.

Vertical Scaling Buttons


The Vertical Scaling buttons are on the left side of each channel's Amplitude axis. These
buttons allow you to compress or expand the visible part of the vertical scale in each
channel independently.

If you move the pointer over the scale part of the Amplitude axis, small arrows appear
beside the pointer. You can either stretch or move the scale by dragging the scale
numbers or the scale between them. The small arrows beside the pointer indicate what
will happen.

Autoscale and Default Scale Buttons


The Autoscale button adjusts the height of the scaled data to display the minimum and
maximum data. Autoscale adjusts the display based on the data visible on screen.

The Default Scale button resets the vertical scale and horizontal compression to their
original settings. This can be useful if, during the course of your experiment, you lose
focus on your data because you have manipulated the vertical scale beyond the signal
limits.

Annotating a Record
Records can be annotated. A Comment panel is provided under the LabTutor panel for
this purpose when required. You can add comments either while you are recording, or
after you have finished.

Procedure

1. Click Start in the LabTutor panel to start recording.


2. Click in the Comment panel text-box, and type in some text.
3. Click the Add button. The text disappears and a vertical dotted line appears in the
LabTutor panel.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add a second comment.
5. Click Stop.

After you have finished recording, you will see numbered Comment boxes in the
LabTutor panel.

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Now try these:

Click a Comment box: the text you typed appears in the pop-up panel. Edit the
comment by typing new text into the comment panel and clicking the Edit button.
Add comments after recording has finished. Click in the LabTutor panel at the
place where you wish to insert the comment and then proceed as outlined in steps
2 and 3 above.

Making Measurements
You can make measurements and add the relevant numbers into a Table.

1. Place the cursor over the data at the desired point and click to place the selected
data in the Value panel.
2. To insert a value into a table, drag it from the Value panel into the appropriate cell
of the table.
3. You can also type information, including values, into any cell in the Table.
4. Complete the Table using the data you have already recorded, by clicking a peak
of the pulse recording and transferring the time and amplitude values into the first
row of the table. Repeat for the next three peaks of the pulse.

The Marker
When the Marker is in use, values and times displayed in the Value panel are relative to
the Marker position. When not in use, the Marker resides in a dock at the bottom left of
the LabTutor panel; from here it can be dragged and dropped on to any part of the data.
To return the Marker to its dock, simply click in the dock area.

1. Drag the Marker from its home and drop it somewhere on the trace. The Marker
does not have to be placed exactly on the waveform. When released, the Marker
will drop and attach itself to the waveform.

Values placed in a Value panel will now be prefaced by a (delta) symbol, to


indicate that the measurement is relative to the Marker's position.

2. Complete the Table using the Marker. Place the Marker on a peak of the pulse
recording. Click on the following trough to add the values for time and amplitude
to their respective Value panels. Drag these values into the table and repeat for the
next three peaks of the pulse (see example).

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3. Remove the Marker from the waveform by clicking in the Marker dock.

Calculations
LabTutor can be configured to calculate variables based on the raw signal input from
other channels. These can be displayed in real time on channels you are not using for data
acquisition.

Procedure
1. Click Start in the LabTutor panel to start recording.
2. Click in the Comment panel text-box, and type in the volunteer's name.
3. Observe the following traces as they appear on the screen:
o Channel 1 is the finger pulse
o Channel 2 displays the interval between peaks of the pressure waves.
o Channel 3 displays the calculated heart rate in Beats Per Minute.
4. Click Stop

When more than one channel is displayed:

You can change the channel heights by dragging the channel separators up or
down.
You can restore the original channel heights by double-clicking on any channel
separator.

Deleting Data
LabTutor automatically saves your data. Occasionally you may want to discard a segment
of your trace or delete some noisy data.

This action cannot be undone!

Procedure
1. Scroll through the data you just recorded and find a section that appears
excessively noisy. Click the Auto Scale or Default Scale button, as necessary.
2. Click and drag over the portion of the trace you want to remove.

You will notice that LabTutor automatically selects the corresponding data from
all channels displayed on the screen. You cannot delete data from a single
channel; this ensures that the time record always corresponds to the voltage value
recorded.

3. Click the Clear Selection button.

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If you select a portion of data from the middle of a recording, LabTutor will insert a
vertical black line into the trace, indicating that the data has been broken into separate
records. You may want to insert a comment at this break to indicate that data was deleted.

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Objective

In this set of experiments, students will record the electrocardiogram (ECG) and the
finger pulse from a healthy volunteer, and compare the recordings made when the
volunteer is at rest and immediately after exercise.

Material Provided for the Cardiovascular Effects of


Exercise Laboratory
Cardiovascular Effects of Exercise experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818]
Shielded 5-lead Bio Amp cable [ML2540] and Shielded Lead Wires [MLA2505]
Reusable clamp electrodes [MLA700] or disposable ECG electrodes [MLA1010]
Electrode cream [MLA1090]
Abrasive Gel [MLA1093B] or Abrasive pads [MLA1092]
Alcohol swabs [MLA1094]
Ballpoint pen
Finger pulse transducer [MLT1010]
Hand dynamometer [MLT003]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant Safety Notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse and grip force transducers are perfectly safe when connected to
Input 1 or Input 2 of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not isolated and
must not be used for direct electrical connection to human subjects.

No visible ECG signal

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Check electrode connections, and make sure lead wires are attached correctly.

Noisy ECG signal

The most common issue when recording ECG is noise from external sources,
including:
Computer monitors
Fluorescent overhead lamps
Power supplies
Biological noise

Turn off fluorescent lamps before recording ECG. Have the subject move away
from CRT monitors in the room. Most biological noise comes from muscle
contractions by the student. Have the subject remain motionless during ECG
recording.

The second most common issue when recording ECG is poor connection quality.

Make sure students are not wearing metal jewelry.

Lightly abrade the skin with an abrasive pad before applying the
electrodes. Make sure that electrode cream is used on the reusable ECG
electrodes. Alternatively, use disposable ECG electrodes to achieve better
contact.

Two possible electrode connection sites are given in the student text. If the
electrodes are connected to the upper arms, they are best positioned on the
outer arm below the deltoid insertion and not over the biceps and triceps muscle
groups.

Make sure students check the electrode connections and placement.

Artifacts can result from movement of the Bio Amp cable and leads.

If the electrodes are connected backwards (i.e. positive electrode on right


arm), the ECG signal will appear inverted. Reattach the cables in the
proper configuration.

Recording from the pulse transducer


Noise
The MLT1010 finger pulse transducer is a very sensitive instrument. Even slight
movements by the volunteer can result in noisy recordings. Instruct the volunteer
to keep their hand as still as possible when recording.

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Introduction
In this laboratory, you will record the electrocardiogram (ECG) and the finger
pulse from a healthy volunteer, and compare the recordings made when the
volunteer is at rest and immediately after exercise.

Background
Cardiac function
The volume of blood that the heart ejects into the circulation each minute, the
cardiac output (CO), is the product of the heart rate (beats/min) (HR) and the
stroke volume (liters/beat) (SV), that is, the volume of blood ejected during each
beat. In humans, CO = HR x SV = 70 x 0.07 5.0 liters/min.

The mammalian nervous system controls HR via the autonomic nerves.


Stimulation of sympathetic nerves increases the rate. Stimulation of the
parasympathetic nerve supplying the heart, the vagus nerve, decreases the rate.
At rest, the vagal effect predominates (vagal tone), and the heart beats more
slowly than it would in the absence of any autonomic activity. During exercise,
vagal activity diminishes and sympathetic activity increases. This, together with
increased levels of circulating epinephrine, results in increased heart rate.

Stroke volume at rest is appreciably higher in very fit individuals. It is influenced


by a variety of factors including the volume of blood returning to the heart
(venous return), sympathetic nerve activity and levels of circulating epinephrine.
At first, during exercise, these factors all increase, and SV is thus increased.
However, the increase in HR also decreases ventricular filling time and thus
limits the capacity for increased SV. Although initially SV may increase up to 1.5
fold, once the level of exercise exceeds about 50% of the individual's capacity,
there is little if any further increase in SV. Only increasing HR can then increase
CO further.

The heart rate in an adult human can rarely exceed about 180 beats/min. It
follows, therefore, that a very fit athlete with a resting heart rate of 40 beats/min
has a much greater capacity to increase CO than does a couch potato with a
resting heart rate of 90 beats/min.

In a fit athlete, CO before exercise = 5 L, HR = 40 beats/min, then SV = 0.125 L.


In a couch potato, CO before exercise = 5 L, HR = 90 beats/min, SV = 0.055 L.
Suppose both now do strenuous exercise, raising their heart rates to 160
beats/min. Assume that SV in both has increased by 1.5 times (athlete: 0.125 L
increased to 0.188 L, couch potato: 0.055 L increased to 0.083 L).
That means the CO of our trained athlete has increased from 5 L/min at rest to
160 x 0.188 = 30 L/min, while the CO of our couch potato has gone from 5 L/min
to 13.3 L/min! To match our athletes CO, the resting SV of the couch potato
would have had to increase by about 6-fold; an impossibility!

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Electrical activity of the heart during exercise
An increase in heart rate corresponds to a shortening of the cardiac cycle (RR
interval decreases). Most of this shortening occurs in the TP interval. The QT
interval also shortens, but only slightly.

Control of the arterial system


The arterial system functions as a pressure reservoir. Blood enters via the heart
and exits to the venous system through the capillaries. Signals from the
autonomic nervous system control the tone of smooth muscle sphincters around
the arterioles. In this way, the autonomic nervous system controls the distribution
of blood to the various organs in the body.

Changes in organ blood flow between rest and exercise.

The distribution of blood that flows to a particular organ is influenced by local


conditions. If cells require more arterial blooddue to, say, a decline in pH or
oxygen levels, or an increase in carbon dioxide levelssmooth muscle
sphincters open to permit blood to enter the particular capillary beds.

The distribution of blood to an organ when a person is at rest may be very different from
that seen during exercise. For example, the blood flows to the gut and kidneys, which
together normally account for about 50% of the resting blood flow, decrease appreciably
during exercise, whereas blood flow to the exercising skeletal muscles increases
dramatically.

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What you will do in the laboratory
1. ECG and volume pulse at rest. In this part of the lab, you will measure the
ECG and volume pulse from a resting volunteer.

2. ECG and volume pulse after exercise. In this part of the laboratory, you will
measure the ECG and volume pulse in a volunteer at intervals after exercise,
analyze the resultant signals, and compare them with the same volunteers
resting ECG and volume pulse.

3. Volume pulse after hand exercise. In this part of the laboratory, you will
measure changes in the finger pulse in a volunteer at intervals after hand
exercise, analyze the resultant signals, and compare them with the same
volunteers resting finger pulse.

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Procedure
1. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.
2. Attach the Finger Pulse Transducer to a middle finger.
3. Connect the Finger Pulse Transducer to Input 1.
4. Remove any watches and/or jewelry from your wrists and ankles.
5. Connect the electrode lead wires to Earth, and the CH1 NEG, and POS on the Bio
Amp cable.
6. Plug the Bio Amp cable into the Bio Amp input.

Standard Connection
Attach the positive electrode to the left wrist, the negative to the right wrist, and the
ground to the right leg.

1. Using a pen, mark each point where electrodes will be placed.


2. Clean the skin with alcohol swabs and lightly abrade the area with abrasive gel or
a pad. This reduces the electrical resistance of the outer layer of skin and ensures
good electrical contact.
3. If you are using the Reusable Clamp Electrodes, apply a small amount of
electrode cream to the electrodes before attaching. Electrode cream is not
necessary if you are using disposable electrodes which have electrode gel on them
already.
4. If, after looking at the signal during the first exercise, you find that this does not
produce a good signal, try the alternative method.

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Standard connection

Alternative connection:

positive electrode to the left upper arm


negative electrode to the right upper arm
ground to either wrist

Do not place the electrodes over the major muscles of the upper arm, because muscle
activity interferes with the signal recorded from the heart.

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Alternative connection

Preliminary Exercise
You will record an ECG and identify artifacts in the signal resulting from movement.

Procedure

1. The subject should relax and sit as still as possible to minimize signal artifacts due
to movements.
2. Click Start and record for a few seconds.
3. Click Stop.

If the ECG cannot be seen, check that all three electrodes are correctly attached. If the
signal is noisy and indistinct, make sure that the subject is relaxed; consider using the
alternative attachment positions.

4. Repeat step 2. Once you have a satisfactory ECG, proceed to the next exercise.

Exercise 1: ECG and Pulse at rest


Now that you have established a good clear signal from the preliminary exercise, you will
record the ECG and pulse from a resting subject.

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Procedure

1. Type the subject's name into the Comment panel with 'Resting ECG'.
2. Click Start, add the comment and record for about 30 seconds.
3. Click Stop.
4. Disconnect the finger pulse transducer and the Bio Amp cable from the
PowerLab. The subject should gather them, and the ECG leads up and hold them.
5. Now the subject should exercise for at least two minutes: for example, two
minutes of step-up exercise, or running up four flights of stairs.

Remember that the ECG leads are still attached to the electrodes, so exercise carefully
(so as not to break the leads or move the electrodes), but vigorously enough to elevate
your heart rate.

6. While the subject is exercising, enter 'Recovery' into the Comment panel.
7. Immediately after exercise, the subject should sit down and relax.
8. Reconnect the Bio Amp cable to the PowerLab, and the finger pulse transducer to
Input 1.
9. Click Start.
10. Add the comment, and record for two minutes or until the heart and breathing
rates have returned to normal.
11. Click Stop.

Analysis
1. Your ECG trace should resemble the one shown here.

LabTutor is set up so that channel 3 shows the heart rate calculated from the RR
interval of the ECG. Channel 4 shows the calculated pulse amplitude.

2. Move the Waveform Cursor to a representative cycle before exercise.


3. Click to place the Heart rate and Pulse amplitude in the Value panels.
4. Drag the number from the 'Heart rate' Value panel into the appropriate column of
the table.
5. Next drag the number from the 'Pulse amplitude' Value panel into the appropriate
column of the table.
6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each of the times after exercise that are shown in the table.

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Analysis (continued)
1. Now you will measure the intervals that make up a cardiac cycle under resting
conditions and after exercise.
2. Scroll to the resting ECG.
3. Expand the view of your ECG by setting the compression to 5:1.
4. To determine the PR interval, place the marker at the beginning of a P wave and
move the Waveform Cursor to the start of the QRS complex. Click and use the
Value panel to transfer the time to the appropriate cell in the table.
5. To determine the QRS interval, place the marker at the beginning of the QRS
complex and move the Waveform Cursor to the end of the QRS complex. Click
and use the Value panel to transfer the time to the appropriate cell in the table.
6. To determine the ST interval, place the marker at the end of the QRS complex and
move the Waveform Cursor to the end of the T wave. Click and use the Value
panel to transfer the time to the appropriate cell in the table.
7. To determine the TP interval, place the marker at the end of the T wave and move
the Waveform Cursor to the beginning of the next P wave. Click and use the
Value panel to transfer the time to the appropriate cell in the table.
8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 for each of the post exercise columns.

Exercise 2: Pulse after hand exercise


You will investigate changes in the pulse associated with hand exercise.

Procedure

1. Disconnect the ECG leads and attach the finger pulse transducer to the subject's
middle finger.

The subject should remain still and relaxed.

2. Click Start and record for 20 seconds; during this time, enter the comment
'Resting.'
3. Click Stop.
4. The subject should now:
o grasp a rubber squeeze-ball in the palm of the hand, to which the finger
pulse transducer is attached
o rhythmically squeeze it for a few minutes until the forearm muscles
fatigue
o stop exercising
5. Click Start.
6. Record for two minutes or until the amplitude of the finger pulse signal has
attained a reasonably constant level for one minute; during this time, enter the
comment 'Recovery.'
7. Click Stop.

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Analysis
LabTutor is set up so that Channel 2 shows the pulse rate and Channel 3 shows the pulse
amplitude.

1. First, use the Waveform Cursor to measure the pulse rate and amplitude in the
absence of exercise.
2. Move the Waveform Cursor to a representative pulse rate. Then click to place the
number in the Value panel.
3. Drag the number from the 'Pulse rate' Value panel into the appropriate column of
the table.
4. Next drag the number from the 'Pulse amplitude' Value panel into the appropriate
column of the table.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 for your post-exercise data at 10, 30, 60 and 120 seconds.

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Objective

In this set of experiments, students will become familiar with auscultation of blood
pressure. In addition, they will use the PowerLab to measure systolic blood
pressure. Students will examine the changes in peripheral circulation during
blood pressure measurement and compare measurements of blood pressure
with the arm in different positions.

Material Provided for the Blood Pressure Laboratory


Blood Pressure experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List/ Alternatives


PowerLab 15T [ML818
Finger Pulse Transducer [MLT1010]
Sphygmomanometer [MLT1100]
Stethoscope
Cardio Microphone [MLT201]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant safety notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse transducer is perfectly safe when connected to Input 1 or Input 2
of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not isolated and must not be used for
direct electrical connection to human subjects.

Warning
This procedure involves stopping blood flow to the arm. This is potentially
dangerous. Please take the following precautions:
Know what you are doing ahead of time.

29
Do not leave the cuff inflated for a prolonged time (more than 90 seconds or
so).
If possible, use more than one volunteer during the course of the lab session.

Adjustment and use of the blood pressure cuff


Make sure students are familiar with the use of the blood pressure cuff. Some
cuffs can be put on inside-out; and then will not compress the arm when
inflated. If this is the problem, reverse the cuff and try again.
Have students familiarize themselves with the use of the cuff release valve
before performing actual measurements.
Never inflate the cuff above 200 mmHg.
Do not leave the cuff inflated on a volunteers arm for prolonged periods.
If a volunteer complains of discomfort, do not continue measurement. Deflate
the cuff immediately.

Using a stethoscope
Make sure the students understand that there are two sides of the rotating
endpiece.
It is recommended that students use the bell of the stethoscope, rather than
the diaphragm, to minimize effects of room noise.

Room noise
Students need to be made aware that excessive noise in the classroom will
prevent them from hearing Korotkoff sounds through the stethoscope.

Recording from the pulse transducer

With the MLT1010 finger pulse transducer, even slight movements by the
volunteer can result in noisy recordings. Instruct volunteers to keep their hands
as still as possible during recording.

Recording from the cardio microphone

The cardio microphone must be positioned under the cuff over the brachial artery
just medial to the biceps tendon. Make sure that the side with the hole in it lies on
the skin.

30
Introduction
In this laboratory, you will become familiar with auscultation (listening to the
sounds of the body) and the measurement of blood pressure. The exercises
involve measuring your blood pressures using a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff
and sphygmomanometer. You will also assess changes in peripheral circulation
and the effects of cuff location.

Background
The pressure in the arteries varies during the cardiac cycle. The ventricles
contract to push blood into the arterial system and then relax to fill with blood
before pumping once more. This intermittent ejection of blood into the arteries is
balanced by a constant loss of blood from the arterial system through the
capillaries. When the heart pushes blood into the arteries there is a sudden
increase in pressure, which slowly declines until the heart contracts again. Blood
pressure is at its highest immediately after the ventricle contracts (systolic
pressure) and at its lowest immediately prior to the pumping of blood into the
arteries (diastolic pressure).

Systolic and diastolic pressures can be measured by inserting a small catheter


into an artery and attaching the catheter to a pressure gauge. Such a direct
measurement may be accurate, but is invasive and often inconvenient and
impractical. This was, in essence, the method by which blood pressure was first
measured by the Rev. Stephen Hales in 1714 on a horse (Figure 1). Simpler
estimates of blood pressure can be made with acceptable accuracy using
noninvasive, indirect methods.

Traditionally, systemic arterial blood pressure is estimated using a stethoscope


and a blood pressure cuff connected to a mercury column or other
sphygmomanometer (Figure 2). The cuff is placed on the upper arm and inflated
to stop arterial blood flow to the arm from the brachial artery; the high pressure in
the cuff causes the artery to collapse. The pressure in the cuff is then released
slowly. When the systolic pressure in the artery exceeds the cuff pressure, blood
slowly flows to the arm through the partially collapsed artery. Because the flow is
through a partially occluded vessel, the flow instead of being laminar is turbulent.
And therefore this flow can be heard through the stethoscope. These sharp,
tapping sounds are called Kortokoff sounds. When Kortokoff sounds are first
heard, the cuff pressure approximates systolic pressure. As cuff pressure is
reduced further, the sounds heard through the stethoscope increase in intensity
and then suddenly become muffled. The cuff pressure at the point of sound
muffling approximates diastolic blood pressure.

31
Figure 1. The first direct measurement of arterial blood pressure.

Eventually, as the cuff pressure is reduced even more, the sounds disappear
completely, and normal flow through the artery is re-established. Since the
disappearance of sound is easier to detect than muffling, and since the two occur
within a few millimeters of mercury pressure, the disappearance of sound is
commonly used to determine diastolic pressure. Note that, in some normal
healthy people, the sound can still be heard at pressures appreciably below the
true diastolic pressure. In these people, it is not possible to define their diastolic
pressure accurately.

An alternative method makes use of a simple finger pulse transducer connected


to the computer. The cuff is inflated to a pressure that obliterates the finger pulse.
As the cuff pressure is released, the finger pulse returns and the pressure at
which it reappears is a measure of the arterial systolic pressure.

The effects of position on the measured arterial blood pressure


It is conventional to reference all arterial blood pressure measurements to the
position of the heart. One of the things that will be explored in this laboratory is
the effect that position has on the magnitude of the pressure. At this stage, can
you think of any factors that would change the pressure if the measurements
were performed at levels different from the heart?

32
Figure 2. Indirect measurement of arterial blood pressure

What you will do in the laboratory

During todays class period you will complete four exercises:

1. Measurement of blood pressure by auscultation. You will learn how to


measure the blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer cuff and a stethoscope,
and appreciate the range of pressure that can be seen in normal people.
2. Measurement of blood pressure with a microphone. In this part of the
laboratory, you will record cuff pressure and the Korotkoff sounds.
3. Measurement of systolic pressure from the finger pulse. Here, you will see
if you can use pulse measurement to replace the stethoscope .
4. Measurement of systolic pressure in the forearm. Here you will examine
the effects of arm position on the systolic pressure determined from finger pulse
recordings.

33
Procedure
To perform this experiment correctly, you must be familiar with the use of the
stethoscope and sphygmomanometer.

34
Caution

This procedure involves stopping blood flow to the arm. This is potentially dangerous.
Please take the following precautions:

Know what you are doing ahead of time.


Do not leave the cuff inflated for a prolonged time (more than 90 seconds or so).
The volunteer should flex and extend his or her fingers between the exercises to
maintain blood flow.
If possible, use more than one volunteer during the course of the lab session.

The sphygmomanometer conveniently combines a cuff and bulb with a pressure


transducer.

1. Plug the pressure transducer into Input 1 on the PowerLab.


2. Plug the Cardio Microphone into Input 2.
3. Wrap the sphygmomanometer cuff around the upper arm just above the elbow as
shown.
4. Click Start.
5. Practice inflating the cuff to approximately 180 mmHg and slowly reducing the
pressure (1-2 mmHg per second) until you are confident that you can use the
sphygmomanometer correctly.
6. Click Stop.

Exercise 1: Auscultation
In this exercise you will measure blood pressure in the traditional way, using a
stethoscope to listen for Korotkoff sounds.

Procedure

1. Inflate the cuff until the pressure reaches approximately 180 mmHg.
2. Slowly reduce the pressure in the cuff (approximately 1 to 2 mmHg per second)
while listening through the stethoscope for Korotkoff sounds.
3. The systolic pressure is the pressure at which sharp, tapping sounds are first
heard.
4. Continue slowly reducing cuff pressure (at 1 to 2 mmHg per second). The
diastolic pressure is defined as the pressure at which the sounds disappear.
5. Completely deflate the cuff once diastolic pressure is determined. Do not leave
the cuff partially inflated or leave it inflated for a long time.
6. For each subject, record four measurements of the blood pressure. Allow one to
two minutes between measurements for recovery.
7. Repeat the procedure using other students until you feel confident in measuring
blood pressure.

35
Exercise 2: Cardio Microphone
In this exercise you will use the Cardio Microphone to record arterial sound while
recording blood pressure.

Procedure:

1. Leave the blood pressure cuff in place around the upper portion of the student's
arm (either arm), between the elbow and the shoulder.
2. Place the Cardio Microphone over the brachial artery and under the blood
pressure cuff so that it is held in position by the cuff.
3. Click Start.
4. Inflate the cuff until the pressure reaches approximately 180 mmHg.
5. Slowly reduce the pressure in the cuff (approximately 1 to 2 mmHg per second).
Deflate the cuff completely once the pressure has gone below 50 mmHg.
6. Click Stop.
7. Repeat the procedure using other students. Remember to add a comment with the
subject's name for later identification. Allow one to two minutes between
procedures for recovery.

Analysis
1. Examine your recording. The Cardio Microphone channel displays the Korotkoff
sounds as spikes. These spikes can be used to determine systolic and diastolic
pressure.
2. Place the Waveform Cursor on the the first spike following the reduction in cuff
pressure. This represents the systolic pressure.

36
3. Click on this point to enter the pressure in the value panel and add the comment
"systolic pressure" to the data.
4. Drag the number from the value panel into the appropriate column of the table.
5. Place the Waveform Cursor on the the last spike in the series. This represents the
diastolic pressure.
6. Click on this point to enter the pressure in the value panel and add the comment
"diastolic pressure" to the data.

In some subjects it is not possible to determine diastolic pressure using this


technique.

7. Repeat these procedures for all subjects in your group.

Exercise 3: Blood Pressure and Pulse


You will observe the changes in finger pulse while measuring blood pressure, and see if
pulse measurement could replace the use of the stethoscope.

Procedure

1. Remove the Cardio Microphone plug from Input 2 on the PowerLab.


2. Connect the finger pulse transducer to Input 2.
3. Place the pressure pad of the finger pulse transducer against the distal segment
(the tip) of the middle finger of your hand (on the same arm as the blood pressure
cuff). Use the Velcro strap to attach it firmly - neither loose nor tight.
4. Relax, put your hands in your lap and sit as still as possible to minimize any
movement artifact.
5. Click Start, the recorded pulse should look something like this.

37
6. Add a comment with the subject's name.
7. Inflate the cuff until the pressure is just above 180 mmHg. Note that the pulse
signal disappears.
8. Slowly deflate the cuff at a rate of 1 to 2 mmHg per second.
9. Once the pressure has reached 50 mmHg, completely deflate the blood pressure
cuff.
10. Click Stop.

Analysis
1. Examine your recording. Place the Waveform Cursor on the the first finger pulse
seen as the cuff pressure was falling. This represents the return of bloodflow to
the forearm.
2. Click on this point to enter the pressure in the Value panel and add the comment
"systolic pressure" to the data.
3. Drag the number from the value panel into the appropriate column of the table.

Exercise 4: Hydrostatic Effects


This exercise is a variation on Exercise 3, with measurements taken from a different site
on the arm and with the arm in different positions.

Procedure

1. Wrap the cuff around the forearm, immediately above the wrist, of the same hand
which has the finger pulse transducer attached.
2. Ensure the subject's elbow is flexed at 90 degrees, with the wrist resting on a chair
arm or desk.
3. Type "arm resting, 90 " into the comment panel.
4. Click Start.
5. Inflate the cuff to 180 mmHg.
6. Press Add to enter the initial comment for this exercise.
7. Slowly deflate the cuff at a rate of 1 to 2 mmHg per second.
8. Once the pressure has reached 50 mmHg, completely deflate the blood pressure
cuff.
9. Click Stop.

38
10. Repeat steps 3 to 9, entering an appropriate descriptive comment each time, with
the arm in the following positions:
o Hanging down loosely by the side
o Held straight above the head.

Analysis
Determine the systolic blood pressure from the pressure cuff and finger pulse data.

1. Examine the finger pulse data. Place the Waveform Cursor on the the first pulse
following the reduction in cuff pressure. This represents the systolic pressure.
2. Click on this point to enter the pressure in the Value panel and add the comment
"systolic pressure" to the data.
3. Drag the number from the value panel into the appropriate column of the table.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each of the protocols in the exercise.

39
40
Objective

In this set of experiments, students will explore how respiratory patterns using a
respiratory belt transducer. Students will examine breathing patterns, ability to hold
their breath under different conditions, and variation of heart rate during breathing

Material Provided for the Breathing Laboratory


Breathing experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818]
Respiratory belt transducer [MLT1132]
Finger pulse transducer [MLT1010]
Medium-sized paper bag

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant safety notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse and respiratory belt transducer are perfectly safe when
connected to Input 1 or Input 2 of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not
isolated and must not be used for direct electrical connection to human subjects.

Hyperventilation
Should the volunteer during the hyperventilation exercise develop giddiness or
dizziness, stop the procedure, but record the respiratory response. If volunteers
feel unwell, have them re-breathe expired air by cupping hands over nose and
mouth for a few minutes or breathing into the paper bag provided for the next
exercise.

41
Incorrect placement of the respiratory belt transducer
Too low on the abdomen.
Too loose or too tight. It is better initially to have the belt tight rather than too
loose as the signal depends on the belt being stretched effectively.
The writing on the belt should face away from the body (this ensures that the
transducer is correctly oriented).

Be aware that different people have different patterns of breathing; volunteers


who play wind instruments, or who have trained voices, will provide a much
stronger signal from the abdomen, whereas most people breathe from the upper
abdomen and lower thorax.

Noise during recording from the pulse transducer


The MLT1010 finger pulse transducer is a very sensitive instrument. Even slight
movements by the volunteer can result in noisy recordings. Instruct the volunteer
to keep their hand as still as possible between stimuli.

42
Introduction
In this laboratory, you will record breathing movements with a respiratory belt
transducer fastened around the abdomen. You will investigate various aspects of
breathing, including the ability to hold the breath, hyperventilation, re-breathing,
and the relation between breathing and heart rate.

Background
Cells in your body consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. The ultimate
source of oxygen for terrestrial organisms is atmospheric air, which at sea level
usually consists of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and less than 0.05%
carbon-dioxide, plus numerous trace elements and chemicals in very small
proportions.

These gases are exchanged between cells and blood through your lungs.
Breathing movements pump air in and out of the lungs, where close contact
between air and blood occurs, allowing interchange of oxygen and carbon
dioxide between them. The lungs of vertebrates are blind sacs; that is, there is
one way in and out. To fill these sacs breathing must be tidal; an in and out
series of events rather than continuous.

The internal structure of the lungs consists of a series of branching tubes that
carry air to the alveoli (Figure 1).

Figure 1, The human respiratory system


Alveoli, sometimes called air sacs, are tiny thin-walled, highly vascularized
structures where respiratory gas exchange occurs. In the alveoli and throughout
the body, the gases diffuse down their concentration gradients. This is usually
expressed in terms of the partial pressures of the gases (PO2 , PCO2 ) so that
comparisons can be made easily between the concentrations of the gases in the
atmosphere and in solution in the body. This comparison is possible because the

43
concentration of dissolved gas is proportional to the partial pressure of the gas;
this is known as Henry's Law.

The principal muscle activity in quiet breathing is rhythmic contraction of the


diaphragm , a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates the thorax from the
abdomen. During quiet inspiration, contraction of the diaphragm increases the
volume of the chest, the intrathoracic pressure therefore falls and air flows into
the lungs from the atmosphere down this pressure gradient. In quiet breathing,
expiration is mainly passive. The diaphragm relaxes and the elastic recoil of the
lungs raises intrathoracic gas pressure above atmospheric. Rib movements also
occur in quiet breathing through the activity of the intercostal muscles, but are of
small amplitude and thus contribute relatively little to respiration under these
conditions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Diaphragmatic positions and changes in lung volume


at the ends of inspiration and expiration.

In forceful breathing, rib movements are obvious, and the volume enclosed by
the ribcage changes to a greater extent. In addition, other muscles are recruited.
The sternomastoid muscles of the neck assist in raising the sternum in forceful
inspiration. During expiration abdominal muscles raise the pressure in the
abdomen and push the relaxed diaphragm up, providing a powerful expiratory
force.

Breathing movements are unusual in that they are under dual control from the
central nervous system. Breathing movements can be made voluntarily in the
same way as arm and leg movements. However, if no conscious attention is
focused on breathing, rhythmic muscle contractions occur spontaneously.
Spontaneous breathing is controlled by the respiratory center in the medulla of
the brain. The respiratory center ensures that gaseous exchange at the lung

44
matches the requirements of the body. In times of increased demand, the rate
and depth of breathing are increased to bring more fresh air into the lungs. The
respiratory center has chemoreceptors that are sensitive to the partial pressure
of carbon dioxide (PCO2) and pH of the cerebral spinal fluid. Chemoreceptors
sensitive to oxygen partial pressure (PO2) are located in the aorta and carotid
arteries.

The respiratory center and the medullary cardiovascular center lie in close
proximity in the medulla and inspiratory neurons have an inhibitory effect on the
vagal cardiac neurons. This is reflected in the tachycardia that usually
accompanies inspiration (sinus arrhythmia).

What you will do in the laboratory


During todays class period you will complete four exercises.

1. Normal respiration. You will investigate the characteristics of normal


respiration and your ability to hold your breath after inspiration and expiration.

2. Hyperventilation. Here you will investigate the effect of hyperventilation on


the respiratory pattern and the length of time the breath can be held

3. The effect of re-breathing. In this exercise, you will examine the effect of re-
breathing your expired gas on respiratory patterns.

4. Breathing and heart rate. Here you will study variations in heart rate during
breathing. The study of heart rate variability is an area of rapidly growing
interest with applications in clinical medicine and medical science.

45
Procedure
1. Fasten the respiratory belt around the abdomen of a volunteer, as shown. The
transducer should be:
o At the front of the body, level with the navel.
o Tightened sufficiently that it remains under tension even when the subject
fully exhales.

The respiratory belt transducer can be used over clothing, and it doesn't matter whether
the volunteer is sitting or standing, so long as they are comfortable (this is quite a long
exercise). Because breathing patterns differ, you may need to reposition the transducer
over the chest rather than the abdomen to get the best signal.

2. Connect the plug on the respiratory belt transducer cable to Input 1 on the front of
the PowerLab.

It is important when recording normal respiration that the volunteer is facing away
from the computer screen and is not consciously controlling breathing. The volunteer
may have to stare out a window or read a book to avoid conscious control of respiration.

Exercise 1: Normal Respiration


In this exercise, you will record normal and rapid breathing, and examine the effects of
holding your breath after inhaling and after exhaling.

Procedure

1. Click Start.

46
2. Ask the volunteer to breathe rapidly for a few seconds, and then to breathe slowly.
Examine the Breath Rate channel, there should be obvious changes in rate.
3. Enter a comment: 'Baseline 1' in the slow breathing region of the data.
4. Click Add.
5. Record 2-3 minutes of normal, quiet breathing and observe the trace.
6. Enter a comment: 'inhale, hold'.
7. Click Add, and immediately ask the volunteer to take a deep breath and hold it in
for as long as possible.
8. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
9. When the volunteer begins to breathe again, click Add .
10. Wait until a normal (baseline) breathing pattern resumes; then let the volunteer
rest and breathe normally for another 2-3 minutes.
11. Enter a comment: 'exhale, hold'.
12. Click Add, and immediately ask the volunteer to breathe out fully and hold the
breath for as long as possible.
13. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
14. When the volunteer begins breathing click Add.
15. Continue recording until a normal (baseline) pattern resumes.
16. Click Stop.

The volunteer can now relax and breathe normally.

Analysis
1. In the Breathing channel, place the Marker on the large peak following the
comment 'inhale, hold'.
2. Move the Waveform Cursor to the start of the first breath afterwards, which
should be preceded by the comment 'breathe'.
3. Click to place the selected data in the Value panel and drag it from the Value
panel into the appropriate cell of the table.
4. Drag the Marker to the large (negative) peak right after the comment 'exhale,
hold'.
5. Move the Waveform Cursor to the start of the first breath afterwards, which
should also be preceded by the comment 'breathe'.
6. Click to place the selected data in the Value panel and drag it from the Value
panel into the appropriate cell of the table.

Exercise 2: Hyperventilation
In this exercise, you will record the effect of voluntary hyperventilation on breath-
holding and the recovery of normal breathing rhythm.

Safety considerations

Should the volunteer develop giddiness or dizziness while hyperventilating, stop the
procedure, but record the respiratory response.

47
If the volunteer feels unwell, have him or her re-breathe expired air by cupping hands
over nose and mouth for a few minutes or breathing into the paper bag provided for the
next exercise.

Procedure

1. Click Start.
2. Enter a comment 'baseline', click Add and ask the volunteer to maintain normal
respiration for 2-3 minutes.
3. Enter a comment: 'inhale, hold'.
4. Click Add, and immediately ask the volunteer to take a deep breath and hold it in
for as long as possible.
5. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
6. When the volunteer begins to breathe again, click Add .
7. Record the subject's normal respiration for 2-3 minutes. During this time, enter a
comment: 'hyperventilate'.
8. Click Add and immediately ask the volunteer to hyperventilate by breathing as
quickly and as deeply as possible for 30 seconds.
9. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
10. After the 30 seconds of hyperventilation click Add, then immediately tell the
volunteer to begin breathing normally again.
11. Wait until a normal breathing pattern resumes; then let the volunteer rest and
breathe normally for another 2-3 minutes.
12. Enter a comment: 'hyperventilate'.
13. Click Add, then immediately ask the volunteer to hyperventilate again by
breathing as quickly and as deeply as possible for 30 seconds.
14. Enter a comment: 'inhale, hold'.
15. After the 30 seconds of hyperventilation click Add, and Immediately ask the
volunteer to take a deep breath and hold it in for as long as possible.
16. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
17. When the volunteer begins breathing click Add.
18. Click Stop.

The volunteer can now relax and breathe normally.

Analysis
1. In the Breath Rate channel, select an area representing your normal breathing rate
prior to the 'inhale, hold' comment. This will give you the average breathing rate
for that period of time.
2. Drag the the Breath Rate data from the Value Panel into the appropriate cell of the
table.
3. In the Breathing channel, select the period of time for which the subject held their
breath (from the 'inhale, hold' comment to the 'breathe' comment), and drag this
Breathing Selection Duration data from the Value Panel to the appropriate cell in
the table.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the hyperventilation period and the subsequent breath-hold.

48
Exercise 3: Rebreathing
In this exercise, you will observe the effect of rebreathing exhaled gases. You will need
to obtain a medium-sized paper bag. When re-breathing, the volunteer should place this
so that it covers the nose and mouth and forms a tight seal.

Procedure

1. Click Start. Enter a comment: 'baseline', and click Add.


2. Record the baseline for 2-3 minutes.
3. Enter a comment: 'rebreathing'.
4. Click Add and immediately ask the volunteer to place the paper bag over the nose
and mouth, and rebreathe the air in the bag.
5. Enter a comment: 'breathe'.
6. After 60 seconds of rebreathing, click Add; then immediately ask the volunteer to
remove the paper bag from the nose and mouth.
7. Continue recording for 60 seconds.
8. Click Stop.

Analysis
Rebreathing from a closed bag results in arterial hypercapnia (raised partial pressure of
carbon dioxide), which stimulates respiration. How was this evident in this exercise?
(That is, did the depth or rate or both increase during rebreathing compared to normal
breathing?)

Procedure
1. Leave the respiratory belt fastened around the abdomen of the volunteer.
2. Connect the finger pulse transducer to Input 2 on the PowerLab.
3. Place the pressure pad of the finger pulse transducer against the tip of the middle
finger of either hand of the volunteer. Use the Velcro strap to attach it firmly -
neither loose nor tight.
4. Ensure that the person sits quietly with his or her hands resting in their lap, or on a
bench, to minimize transducer movements.

49
Exercise 4: Breathing and Heart Rate
In this exercise, you will record and examine the effect of breath-holding on heart rate.

Procedure

1. Click Start.
2. Record a baseline heart rate and breathing pattern for two minutes. (Variation in
the heart rate is most evident with slow, deep breathing.)
3. After recording the baseline signals, enter a comment: 'inhale, hold'.
4. Click Add, and immediately ask the volunteer to take a deep breath and hold it in
for as long as possible.
5. While the volunteer is not breathing, enter a comment: 'breathe'.
6. When the volunteer begins breathing, click Add.
7. Click Stop.

The volunteer can now relax and breathe normally.

Analysis
Heart rate variations within the breathing cycle should be seen best at a timescale
compression of 20:1.

50
51
Objective

In this set of experiments students will record and analyze an electrocardiogram


(ECG) from a volunteer, and investigate the relationship between the ECG and
heart sounds.

Material Provided for the ECG & Heart Sounds


Laboratory
ECG & Heart Sounds experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Instructors Material
Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818
Shielded 5-lead Bio Amp Cable [MLA2540] and Shielded Lead Wires [MLA2505]
Reusable clamp electrodes [MLA700] or disposable adhesive electrodes
[MLA1010]
Electrode cream [MLA1090]
Alcohol swabs [MLA1094]
Ballpoint pen
Abrasive Gel [MLA1093B] or Abrasive pads [MLA1092]
Push-button switch [MLA92]
Stethoscope
Cardio Microphone [MLT201] or Electronic Stethoscope [MLT206]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant Safety Notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

52
The push button switch and cardio microphone are perfectly safe when
connected to Input 1 or Input 2 of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not
isolated and must not be used for direct electrical connection to human subjects.

No visible ECG signal


Check electrode connections, and make sure lead wires are attached correctly.

Noisy ECG signal


The most common issue when recording ECG is noise from external sources,
including:
Computer monitors
Fluorescent overhead lamps
Power supplies
Biological noise
Turn off fluorescent lamps before recording ECG. Have the subject move
away from CRT monitors in the room. Most biological noise comes from
muscle contractions by the student. Have the subject remain motionless
during ECG recording.

The second most common issue when recording ECG is poor connection quality.

Make sure students are not wearing metal jewelry. Lightly abrade the skin
with an abrasive pad before applying the electrodes. Make sure that electrode
cream is used on the reusable ECG electrodes. Alternatively, use disposable
ECG electrodes to achieve better contact.

Two possible electrode connection sites are given in the student text. If the
electrodes are connected to the upper arms, they are best positioned on the
outer arm below the deltoid insertion and not over the biceps and triceps
muscle groups.

Make sure students check the electrode connections and placement.


Artifacts can result from movement of the Bio Amp cable and leads.
If the electrodes are connected backwards (i.e. positive electrode on
right arm), the ECG signal will appear inverted. Reattach the cables the
in the proper configuration.

Weak heart sounds signal

The bell of the stethoscope may not be placed firmly enough over the apex of
the heart.
The head piece of the stethoscope may be turned so that the diaphragm is
connected. Rotate the stethoscope head piece and try again.

53
Introduction
The beating of the heart is associated with both electrical activity and sound. The
pattern of electrical activity recorded at the body surface is called the
electrocardiogram or ECG. The aim of this laboratory is for you to record and
analyze an ECG from a volunteer, and to examine the relationship between the
ECG and the characteristic sounds of the heart.

Background
The heart is a dual pump that circulates blood around the body and through the
lungs. Blood enters the atrial chambers of the heart at a low pressure and leaves
the ventricles at a higher pressure. The high arterial pressure provides the
energy to force blood through the circulatory system. Figure 1 shows a schematic
of the organization of the human heart and the circulatory system.

Figure 3. A schematic diagram of the human heart and circulatory system.

Blood returning from the body arrives at the right side of the heart and is pumped
through the lungs. Oxygen is picked up and carbon dioxide is released. This
oxygenated blood then arrives at the left side of the heart, from where it is
pumped back to the body.

The electrical activity of the heart


Cardiac contractions are not dependent upon a nerve supply. However,
innervation by the parasympathetic (vagus) and sympathetic nerves does modify
the basic cardiac rhythm. Thus the central nervous system can affect this rhythm.
The best known example of this is so-called sinus arrhythmia where respiratory
activity affects the heart rate.

54
A group of specialized muscle cells, the sinoatrial, or sinuatrial (SA) node acts as
the pacemaker for the heart (Figure 2). These cells rhythmically produce action
potentials that spread through the muscle fibers of the atria. The resulting
contraction pushes blood into the ventricles. The only electrical connection
between the atria and the ventricles is via the atrioventricular (AV) node. The
action potential spreads slowly through the AV node, thus allowing atrial
contraction to contribute to ventricular filling, and then rapidly through the AV
bundle and Purkinje fibers to excite both ventricles.

Figure 2. Components of the human heart involved in conduction.

The cardiac cycle involves a sequential contraction of the atria and the ventricles.
The combined electrical activity of the different myocardial cells produces
electrical currents that spread through the body fluids. These currents are large
enough to be detected by recording electrodes placed on the skin (Figure 3).

55
Figure 3. Standard method for connecting the electrodes to a volunteer.

The regular pattern of peaks during one cardiac cycle is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. One cardiac cycle showing the P wave, QRS complex and T wave.

The action potentials recorded from atrial and ventricular fibers are different from
those recorded from nerves and skeletal muscle. The cardiac action potential is
composed of three phases: a rapid depolarization, a plateau depolarization
(which is very obvious in ventricular fibers) and a repolarization back to resting
membrane potential (Figure 5).

56
Figure 5. A typical ventricular muscle action potential.

The components of the ECG can be correlated with the electrical activity of the
atrial and ventricular muscle:
The P-wave is produced by atrial depolarization.
The QRS complex is produced by ventricular depolarization; atrial
repolarization also occurs during this time, but its contribution is
insignificant.
The T-wave is produced by ventricular repolarization.

Heart valves and heart sounds


Each side of the heart is provided with two valves, which convert the rhythmic
contractions into a unidirectional pumping. The valves close automatically
whenever there is a pressure difference across the valve that would cause
backflow of blood. Closure gives rise to audible vibrations (heart sounds).
Atrioventricular (AV) valves between the atrium and ventricle on each side of
the heart prevent backflow from ventricle to atrium. Semilunar valves are
located between the ventricle and the artery on each side of the heart, and
prevent backflow of blood from the aorta and pulmonary artery into the respective
ventricle.

The closure of these valves is responsible for the characteristic sound produced
by the heart, usually referred to as a lub-dup sound. The lower-pitched lub
sound occurs during the early phase of ventricular contraction. This is produced
by closing of the atrioventricular (mitral and tricuspid) valves. These valves
prevent blood from flowing back into the atria. When the ventricles relax, the
blood pressure drops below that in the artery, and the semilunar valves (aortic
and pulmonary) close, producing the higher-pitched dup sound. Malfunctions of
these valves often produce an audible murmur, which can be detected with a
stethoscope.

The cardiac cycle

The sequence of events in the heart during one cardiac cycle is summarized in
Figure 6. During ventricular diastole blood is returning to the heart.
Deoxygenated blood from the periphery enters the right atrium and flows into the
right ventricle through its open AV valve. Oxygenated blood from the lungs enters

57
the left atrium and flows into the left ventricle through its open AV valve. Filling of
the ventricles is completed when the atria contract (atrial systole). In the resting
state, atrial systole accounts for some 20% of atrial filling. Atrial contraction is
followed by contraction of the ventricles (ventricular systole). Initially, as the
ventricles begin to contract the pressure in them rises and exceeds that in the
atria. This closes the AV valves. But, until the pressure in the left ventricle
exceeds that in the aorta (and in the right ventricle exceeds that in the pulmonary
artery), the volume of the ventricles can not change. This is the so-called
isovolumic phase of ventricular contraction. Finally, when the pressure in the left
ventricle exceeds that in the aorta (and the pressure in the right ventricle
exceeds that in the pulmonary artery), the aortic and pulmonary valves open and
blood is ejected into the aorta and pulmonary arteries. As the ventricular muscle
relaxes, pressures in the ventricles fall below those in the aorta and pulmonary
artery, and the aortic and pulmonary valves close. Ventricular pressure continues
to fall and once it has fallen below that in the atria, the AV valves open and
ventricular filling begins again.

Figure 6. The cardiac cycle.

Changes in a variety of parameters during one cardiac cycle are susefully


summarized in a figure introduced by Wiggers. A modified form of this is shown
in Figure 7. The importance of this representation is that it allows you to see the
temporal relationships between the different parameters.

58
Figure 7. A Wiggers' diagram.

59
What you will do in the laboratory

1. ECG in a resting volunteer. You will record the ECG, analyze the signal and
observe the effects of slight movement on the signal.

2. ECG recorded from several other volunteers. You will identify and discuss
similarities and differences in the ECGs of the different participants.

3. ECG and heart sounds. You will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and
an event marker to determine the relationship between what you are hearing
and the ECG being recorded at the same time.

4. ECG and phonocardiography. You will also record the heart sounds
(phonocardiogram) together with the ECG.

60
Procedure
1. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.
2. Connect the push-button switch to Input 1 on the PowerLab.
3. Remove any watches and/or jewelry from your wrists and ankles.
4. Connect the electrode lead wires to Earth, CH1 NEG, and POS on the Bio Amp
cable.
5. Plug the Bio Amp cable into the Bio Amp input.

Standard Connection
Attach the positive electrode to the left wrist, the negative to the right wrist, and the
ground to the right leg.

1. Using a pen, mark each point where electrodes will be placed. Clean the skin with
alcohol swabs and lightly abrade the area with abrasive gel or a pad. This reduces
the electrical resistance of the outer layer of skin and ensures good electrical
contact.
2. If you are using the Reusable Clamp Electrodes, apply a small amount of
electrode cream to the electrodes before attaching. Electrode cream is not
necessary if you are using disposable electrodes which have electrode gel on them
already.
3. If, after looking at the signal during the first exercise, you find that this does not
produce a good signal, try the alternative method.

61
Exercise 1: ECG and Rest
You will record and examine the major components of the Electrocardiogram (ECG).

Procedure

1. The subject should relax and sit as still as possible to minimize signal artifacts due
to movements.
2. Type the subject's name into the Comment panel.
3. Click Start, then add the comment.

Click Autoscale as required to ensure that you can see all the data as it is being
recorded.

4. If the ECG cannot be seen, check that all three electrodes are correctly attached. If
the signal is noisy and indistinct, make sure that the subject is relaxed; consider
using the alternative attachment positions.
5. Click Stop.
6. Click Start again. While recording, ask the subject to open and close his or her
hands, and then move both arms across the chest.

The trace moves all over the place, and the ECG becomes distorted. This shows you
why it is necessary for subjects to keep still and stay relaxed while their ECG is being
recorded.

62
7. With the subject sitting quietly, click Start again. When you have a trace without
movement artifacts, type 'Resting ECG ' and the subject's name, and add the
comment.
8. Click Stop.

Analysis
1. Scroll through your data and observe the regularly occurring ECG cycles.
2. In a representative cycle, measure the amplitudes and durations of the P wave,
QRS complex and T wave.
3. To measure the amplitudes, place the Marker on the baseline immediately before
the P wave. Then move the Waveform Cursor to the peak of a wave. Click to
place the number in the Value panel.
4. Drag the number from the Value panel into the appropriate column of the upper
table.
5. To measure the durations, leave the Marker at the start of the wave or complex
and position the Waveform Cursor at the end of the wave or complex.
6. Click to place the number in the Value panel and then drag the number from the
Value panel into the appropriate column of the table.
7. Now investigate how the heart rate may vary from beat to beat. To do this, set the
horizontal compression to 10:1. Measure the time interval (in seconds) between
three pairs of adjacent R waves using the Marker and Waveform Cursor.
8. Record your results in the lower table. For each interval, the heart rate is shown in
column 3 of the table, calculated using the equation HR = 60 t , where HR =
Heart Rate (beats/min) and, t = time interval (seconds).

Exercise 2: ECG Variation


In this exercise, you will record the resting ECG signal from other members of your
group.

Procedure

1. Attach the electrodes to the new subject.


2. With the subject sitting quietly, click Start again. When you have a trace without
movement artifacts, type 'Resting ECG' and the subject's name and enter the
comment.
3. Click Stop.
4. Repeat for all other students in the group.

Analysis
Compare the duration and amplitude of the P waves, QRS complexes and T waves
between those in your group and with other members of the class. Record your results in
the Table.

63
To Measure Waveform Amplitude:

1. Drag the Marker to the lowest point of the waveform before each of the peaks of
interest.
2. Move the Waveform Cursor to the peak, to the right of the Marker, and click.
3. Drag the number from the ECG Value panel into the appropriate Amplitude
column of the table.

To Measure Waveform Duration:

1. Leave the Marker on the lowest point of the waveform before a peak.
2. Move the Waveform Cursor to the lowest point following the waveform, and
click.
3. Drag the number from the Time Value panel into the appropriate column of the
table.

Exercise 3: ECG and Heart Sounds


You will measure and correlate the ECG and heart sounds in a resting volunteer.

Using a Stethoscope

The stethoscope bell is better than the diaphragm for this exercise because it blocks off
room noise. It still helps if everyone tries to keep the noise down.

Your instructor will briefly demonstrate how to use the stethoscope.

The volunteer should place the bell of the stethoscope on the left side of their chest, using
the right hand. (It is easy enough to do this under one's shirt.) The stethoscope should be
moved to different positions until the student listening to the stethoscope hears clear heart
sounds. The sounds are soft, and room noise must be kept low. Once clear heart sounds
are heard, the volunteer should hold the stethoscope in place with the right hand while the
student listening to the stethoscope listens and records.

1. Click Start to record the ECG, and press the push-button switch on hearing 'lub'
and release it on 'dub'.
2. After a few heart beat cycles, click Stop.

Analysis
To make it easier to compare the recordings in the two channels, the LabTutor panel has
been set up to display the recordings overlaid. With the Channel Trace buttons you can
select which of the two channels is 'active' in the panel.

1. Note the correlation between Event and ECG signals.


2. Using the Marker and Waveform Cursor, follow the instructions below to
measure the time between the peak of the R wave and the Event signal going
high.

64
1. Select the ECG channel as active
2. Place the Marker on the R wave
3. Select the Event channel as active
4. Use the waveform cursor and select the Event signal going high
5. Insert this time into the table
3. Now measure the time between the peak of the T wave and the Event signal going
low.
1. Select the ECG channel as active
2. Place the Marker on the T wave
3. Select the Event channel as active
4. Use the waveform cursor and select the Event signal going low
5. Insert this time into the table

Exercise 4: ECG and Phonocardiography


You will record and correlate the ECG and heart sounds (with a cardiomicrophone) in a
resting volunteer.

Clearly, the method that you used in Exercise 3 is subject to considerable error. For
example, reaction time will introduce a significant delay.

The alternative, phonocardiography, is to use a microphone placed over the chest wall to
record the heart sounds which can then be displayed graphically in real time.

Procedure

1. Unplug the push button from Input 1 and plug the cardiomicrophone into Input 1.
2. Place the cardiomicrophone on the left side of your chest. Then hold it firmly in
place either by a strap running around the chest or by placing a heavy book or
similar object on top of it. (This requires that you lie down).

It is essential that the microphone is not held onto the chest-wall by hand, as the
inevitable movement of the hand introduces considerable noise into the recording.

3. Click Start to record the ECG and cardiomicrophone signals. You should try
placing the microphone in different positions to get the best possible signal.
4. After about 15 seconds, click Stop.

Analysis
Again, to make it easier to compare the recordings in the two channels, the LabTutor
panel is set up so that the recordings are overlaid.

Clicking the buttons towards the top right of the panel allows you to select which of the
two channels is 'active' in the panel.

65
1. Note the relationship between the R-wave and the first sound. Using the Marker
and Waveform Cursor, follow the instructions below to measure the time between
the peak of the R wave and the beginning of the first heart sound.
1. Select the ECG channel as active.
2. Place the Marker on the R wave.
3. Select the PCG channel as active.
4. Use the waveform cursor and select the beginning of the first heart sound.
5. Insert this time into the table.
2. Note the relationship between the T-wave and the second sound. Now measure
the time between the peak of the T wave and the beginning of the second heart
sound by repeating steps 1 to 5 above.

66
67
Objective

In this set of experiments, students measure and study the finger pulse and ECG
of a volunteer. In addition, they palpate various arteries and look at aspects of
the peripheral circulation.

Material Provided for the ECG and Peripheral Circulation


Laboratory
ECG and Peripheral Circulation experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818],
Shielded 5-lead Bio Amp cable [ML2540] and Shielded Lead Wires [MLA2505]
Reusable clamp electrodes [MLA700] or disposable ECG electrodes [MLA1010]
Electrode cream [MLA1090]
Abrasive pads [MLA1092]
Alcohol swabs [MLA1094]
Ballpoint pen
Finger pulse transducer [MLT1010]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant Safety Notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse transducer is perfectly safe when connected to Input 1 or Input 2
of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not isolated and must not be used for
direct electrical connection to human subjects.

No visible ECG signal


Check electrode connections, and make sure lead wires are attached correctly.

68
Noise and ECG
The most common issue when recording ECG is noise from external sources,
including:
Computer monitors
Fluorescent overhead lamps
Power supplies
Biological noise

Turn off fluorescent lamps before recording ECG. Have the subject move away
from CRT monitors in the room. Most biological noise comes from muscle
contractions by the student. Have the subject remain still during ECG recording.

The second most common issue when recording ECG is poor connection
quality.

Make sure students are not wearing metal jewelry. Lightly abrade the skin with
an abrasive pad before applying the electrodes. Make sure that electrode cream
is used on the disposable ECG electrodes. Alternatively, use disposable ECG
electrodes to achieve better contact.

Two possible electrode connection sites are given in the student text. If the
electrodes are connected to the upper arms, they are best positioned on the
outer arm below the deltoid insertion and not over the biceps and triceps muscle
groups.

Make sure students check the electrode connections and placement.

Artifacts can result from movement of the Bio Amp cable and leads.

If the electrodes are connected backwards (i.e. positive electrode on right arm),
the ECG signal will appear inverted.

Reattach the cables in the proper configuration.

Recording from the pulse transducer


Noise
The MLT1010 finger pulse transducer is a very sensitive instrument. Even slight
movements by the volunteer can result in noisy recordings.

Instruct the volunteer to keep their hand still during pulse recordings.

69
Introduction
The heart is a dual pump that pushes blood around the body and through the
lungs. The beating of the heart results in a blood flow that is itself rhythmic. In
this laboratory, you will measure the finger pulse and correlate it with the ECG. In
addition, you will palpate various arteries, and look at the peripheral circulation.

Background
The heart is a dual pump that circulates blood around the body and through the
lungs. Blood enters the atrial chambers of the heart at a low pressure and leaves
the ventricles at a higher pressure. The high arterial pressure provides the
energy to force blood through the circulatory system. Figure 1 shows a schematic
of the organization of the human heart and the circulatory system.

Figure 4. A schematic diagram of the human heart and circulatory system.

Blood returning from the body arrives at the right side of the heart and is pumped
through the lungs. Oxygen is picked up and carbon dioxide is released. This
oxygenated blood then arrives at the left side of the heart, from where it is
pumped back to the body.

The electrical activity of the heart


Cardiac contractions are not dependent upon a nerve supply. However,
innervation by the parasympathetic (vagus) and sympathetic nerves does modify
the basic cardiac rhythm. Thus the central nervous system can affect this rhythm.

70
The best known example of this is so-called sinus arrhythmia where respiratory
activity affects the heart rate.

A group of specialized muscle cells, the sinoatrial, or sinuatrial , (SA) node acts
as the pacemaker for the heart (Figure 2). These cells rhythmically produce
action potentials that spread through the muscle fibers of the atria. The resulting
contraction pushes blood into the ventricles. The only electrical connection
between the atria and the ventricles is via the atrioventricular (AV) node. The
action potential spreads slowly through the AV node, thus allowing atrial
contraction to contribute to ventricular filling, and then rapidly through the AV
bundle and Purkinje fibers to excite both ventricles.

Figure 2. Components of the human heart involved in conduction.

The cardiac cycle involves a sequential contraction of the atria and the ventricles.
The combined electrical activity of the different myocardial cells produces
electrical currents that spread through the body fluids. These currents are large
enough to be detected by recording electrodes placed on the skin (Figure 3).

71
Figure 3. Standard method for connecting the electrodes to a volunteer.

The regular pattern of peaks during one cardiac cycle is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. One cardiac cycle showing the P wave, QRS complex and T wave.

The action potentials recorded from atrial and ventricular fibers are different from
those recorded from nerves and skeletal muscle. The cardiac action potential is
composed of three phases: a rapid depolarization, a plateau depolarization
(which is very obvious in ventricular fibers) and a repolarization back to resting
membrane potential (Figure 5).

72
Figure 5. A typical ventricular muscle action potential.

The components of the ECG can be correlated with the electrical activity of the
atrial and ventricular muscle:
The P-wave is produced by atrial depolarization.
The QRS complex is produced by ventricular depolarization; atrial
repolarization also occurs during this time, but its contribution is
insignificant.
The T-wave is produced by ventricular repolarization.

The peripheral circulation


The arterial system functions as a pressure reservoir. Blood leaves the arterial
system continuously through the capillaries, but enters only intermittently from
the heart. The ventricles contract during systole; the semilunar valves open and
blood flows into the arterial system. At this point, the arteries are stretched and
the blood pressure increases.

Systolic pressure is defined as the peak pressure reached during the cardiac
cycle. The period during the relaxation of the ventricles is called diastole. During
diastole, while the ventricles fill with blood returning from the veins in preparation
for the next systole, blood continues to flow out of the arterial system into the
capillaries. This flow is driven by the elastic recoil of the major arteries.
Consequently, the arterial pressure decreases. The value when the arterial blood
pressure is at its lowest immediately before the contracting ventricle pushes
blood into the arteries againis called the diastolic pressure. The peak systolic
pressure wave will appear in the peripheral arteries after the QRS. This is due to
the time it takes for the systolic pressure wave to reach the extremities and be
measured by our sensor. The dicrotic notch (a small plateau or dip in the
pressure wave) is caused by the closure of the aortic valve. Although the
variation in arterial blood pressure during the cardiac cycle is smoothed out by
the inherent elasticity of the major arteries, blood still exhibits pulsatile flow
through the arteries and arterioles.

73
The finger pulse transducer

In these exercises, we will use a finger pulse transducer. This provides an


indication of the net rate of blood flow into the finger pulp. The computer software
is set up so that the time integral of the pulse is calculated and displayed in the
LabTutor panel. This provides an indication of the change in finger pulp volume
over time. In these experiments we can illustrate the pattern of blood flow in
small arteries during the cardiac cycle.

Figure 6 . Distribution of blood flow to the hand.

74
What you will do in the laboratory
In this laboratory you will perform four exercises.

1. ECG and pulse in a resting volunteer. You will record the ECG and the
volume pulse, analyze the signals and observe their relationships.
2. The pulse. You will identify and discuss similarities and differences in the
pulses of the different participants.
3. Arterial anastomoses in the hand. You will discover that the arterial blood
supply to the fingers derives from both radial and ulnar arteries by way of
anastomoses (connections between the vessels) in the hand.
4. The effect of cold on pulse. You will examine the effect of cold on the
amplitude of the finger pulse.

75
Procedure
1. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.
2. Attach the Finger Pulse Transducer to a middle finger.
3. Connect the Finger Pulse Transducer to Input 1.
4. Remove any watches and/or jewelry from your wrists and ankles.
5. Connect the electrode lead wires to Earth, and CH1 NEG, and POS on the Bio
Amp cable.
6. Plug the Bio Amp cable into the Bio Amp input.

Standard Connection
Attach the positive electrode to the left wrist, the negative to the right wrist, and the
ground to the right leg.

1. Using a pen, mark each point where electrodes will be placed. Clean the skin with
alcohol swabs and lightly abrade the area with abrasive gel or a pad. This reduces
the electrical resistance of the outer layer of skin and ensures good electrical
contact.
2. If you are using the Reusable Clamp Electrodes, apply a small amount of
electrode cream to the electrodes before attaching. Electrode cream is not
necessary if you are using disposable electrodes which have electrode gel on them
already.
3. If, after looking at the signal during the first exercise, you find that this does not
produce a good signal, try the alternative method.

Exercise 1: ECG and Pulse


You will measure the ECG and pulse at rest and examine aspects of their relationship.

Procedure

1. The subject should relax and sit as still as possible to minimize signal artefacts
due to movements.
2. Type the subject's name into the Comment panel.
3. Click Start, then add the comment.
4. After 10 to 20 seconds click Stop.

o If the ECG cannot be seen, check that all three electrodes are correctly
attached.
o If the signal is noisy and indistinct, make sure that the subject is relaxed;
consider using the alternative attachment positions shown in alternative
method.
5. Remove the ECG leads from the student.
6. Repeat steps 1-4 for other members of your group.

76
Click Autoscale as required to ensure that you can see all the data as it is being
recorded.

Analysis
1. Drag the Marker to the peak of a QRS complex in Channel 1.
2. Move the cursor to the right so that it lies at the start of the pulse wave (channel 2)
that follows the QRS complex.
3. Click to place the t in the Value panel.
4. Drag the number from the Value panel into the t column of the table.
5. Scroll to the next subject's recorded data and repeat steps 1-4 for each group
member.

Exercise 2: The Pulse


You will measure the pulse in other students to determine the variation between
individuals.

Procedure

1. Attach the Finger Pulse Transducer to the student.


2. Type the subject's name into the Comment panel.
3. Click Start.
4. Click Add to add the comment and record for 10 seconds.
5. Click Stop.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for each member of your group.

Analysis
Using the Marker and Waveform Cursor, determine the pulse amplitude and pulse
interval. The heart rate for each member of your group will be automatically calculated
and displayed in the table.

For each student, measure the pulse amplitude and interval between pulses.

To measure pulse amplitude:

1. Drag the Marker to the lowest point of the waveform before a peak.
2. Move the Waveform Cursor to the peak, to the right of the Marker, and click.
3. Drag the number from the Pulse Value panel into the Amplitude column of the
table.

To measure the interval between pulses:

1. Drag the Marker to the highest point of a peak.


2. Move the Waveform Cursor to the peak to the right of the Marker, and click.
3. Drag the number from the Time Value panel into the Interval column of the table.

77
The last column of the table shows the heart rate calculated from the interval as 60/ t.

Exercise 3: Peripheral of Arterial Pulses


You will learn to palpate the main peripheral arterial pulses.

Procedure

1. Feel the subject's radial pulse, at the place indicated in the figure. You should feel
it with the first three fingers, your index, middle and ring fingers, placed in a line
along the length of the radial artery.

o Don't use your thumb for palpation; it has a strong pulse in it, and you
may end up feeling your own pulse instead of the subject's.
o Don't press too hard; only light to moderate pressure is needed to feel a
pulse.
o When looking for the arteries, it is best to glide the fingers back and forth
slowly over the region rather than immediately applying pressure.
2. Attempt to feel the subject's ulnar pulse. In most people, no pulse can be felt.
3. Feel the brachial pulse at the elbow.

78
Exercise 4: Arterial Anastomoses
This exercise demonstrates that the arterial blood supply to the fingers derives from both
radial and ulnar arteries by way of anastomoses (connections between the vessels) in the
hand.

Procedure

1. Place the Finger Pulse Transducer on the distal segment of your middle finger as
before.
2. Click Start.
3. Now, for the brachial, radial and ulnar arteries in turn, do the following:
o Apply firm pressure with the ball of the thumb over the artery for 5-10
seconds, and then release it.
o Add a comment with the artery name to the recording when you start to
apply the pressure and the comment "release" when you release the
pressure.
4. Click Stop and observe your data. The waveforms should look something like
those in this figure.

Analysis
The raw recorded data is shown in the top channel.

The bottom channel shows the pulse amplitude computed from the raw data (as the peak
to peak excursion in each pulse cycle).

Carefully examine your data, to see what effect compression of each artery had on the
finger pulse.

Exercise 5: The Effect of Cold


You will examine the effect of cold on the amplitude of the finger pulse.

79
Procedure

1. Click Start.
2. Record 10-20 seconds of data with the subject's hand at its normal temperature.
3. Click Stop.
4. Add a comment 'before cold' near the end of the data you just recorded.
5. Remove the Finger Pulse Transducer from the hand.
6. Immerse the subject's hand in a basin of ice-water for 30 seconds, or until the
subject feels too much discomfort.

The greater the immersion time, the larger the difference you will be able to observe.

7. Dry the hand and re-attach the Finger Pulse Transducer.


8. Click Start.
9. Add a comment 'return to warmth' near the start of the data you are recording
now.
10. Record for several minutes during the pulse recovery as the hand warms up.
11. Click Stop.

Click Autoscale as required to ensure that you can see all the data as it is being
recorded.

Analysis
1. Using the Marker and waveform cursor, note the amplitude in channel 2 of a
representative pulse-beat every thirty seconds over the duration of your recording.
2. Transfer these values from the Value panel into the table.

80
81
Objective

In this laboratory, students explore the electrical activity of the brain. They record
electroencephalograms (EEGs) from a volunteer, look at interfering signals,
examine changes of alpha and beta waves with eyes open and shut, and the
effects of mental and auditory activity on alpha and beta waves.

Material Provided for the Earthworm Action Potentials


LabTutor Laboratory
LabTutor EEG Experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818]
Shielded 5-lead Bio Amp Cable [MLA2540] and Shielded Lead Wires
[MLA2505]
EEG Flat Electrodes [MLAWBT9]
Electrode Paste [MLA1095]
Abrasive Pads [MLA1092]
Medical Tape
Self-adhesive elastic bandage, 2-3 cm in width

Experiment Variations
Using the EEG electro-cap system [MLAEC1 or MLAEC2]
The EEG electro-cap system provides a simple means of attaching EEG
electrodes, especially on subjects with hair. The cap can be connected to the
dual Bio Amp cable via an included adapter. For further information regarding
this system, contact your local ADInstruments representative.

1. Connect the EEG cap cable to the shielded 5-lead Bio Amp cable.
2. Connect the Bio Amp cable to the Bio Amp.
3. Place the cap on the volunteer, and secure the strap.
4. Decide which electrodes you want to record from; you can record two
channels with the five-lead Bio Amp cable.
5. Inject a small amount of electrode cream into the small holes on the EEG cap
electrodes that you want to use.

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6. Record EEG from the volunteer in the same manner described in the student
protocol.
Troubleshooting
Biological variables can differ greatly between individuals. Possible problems that
could arise in this experiment include:

1. Noisy EEG signal

Loose electrodes: check the connections to make sure they are secure.
Electrical noise: turn fluorescent lamps off, move CRT computer monitors
away from the subject.
Biological noise: EMG, EOG may occur and mask the EEG signal if the
subject moves.
Other noise: movement of the Bio Amp cable and/or lead wires can also
cause noise.

2. No alpha waves evident

Some completely healthy and normal subjects show no alpha activity, even with
the eyes shut. Try with another volunteer.

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Introduction
In this laboratory, you will explore the electrical activity of the brain. You will
record and analyze electroencephalograms (EEGs) from a volunteer; look at
interfering signals, and examine the effect on alpha and beta waves by opening
and shutting the eyes, auditory and mental cues.

Background

The cerebral cortex contains huge numbers of neurons. Activity of these neurons
is to some extent synchronized in regular firing rhythms ('brain waves').
Electrodes placed in pairs on the scalp can pick up variations in electrical
potential that derive from this underlying cortical activity. EEG signals are
affected by the state of arousal of the cerebral cortex, and show characteristic
changes in different stages of sleep. EEG signals are also affected by stimulation
from the external environment, and brainwaves can become entrained to external
stimuli. Electroencephalography is used, among other things, in the diagnosis of
epilepsies and the diagnosis of brain death.

Recording the EEG

EEG recording is technically difficult, mainly because of the small size of the
voltage signals (typically 50 V peak-to-peak). The signals are small because the
recording electrodes are separated from the brain's surface by the scalp, the
skull and a layer of cerebrospinal fluid. A specially designed amplifier, such as
the Bio Amplifier built into the PowerLab, is essential. It is also important to use
electrodes made of the right material, and to connect them properly. Even with
these precautions, recordings may be spoiled by a range of unwanted interfering
influences, known as 'artifacts'.

In this laboratory you will record EEG activity with two electrodes: a frontal
electrode on the forehead, and an occipital electrode on the scalp at the back of
the head (Figure 1). A third (ground or earth) electrode is also attached, to
reduce electrical interference. In clinical EEG, it is usual to record many channels
of activity from multiple recording electrodes placed in an array over the head.

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Figure 1. Equipment setup (with PowerLab 15T).

Origins of the EEG signals

The EEG results from slow changes in the membrane potentials of cortical
neurons, especially the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs
and IPSPs). Very little contribution normally comes from action potentials
propagated along nerve axons. As with the ECG, the EEG reflects the algebraic
sum of the electrical potential changes occurring from large populations of cells.
Therefore, large amplitude waves require the synchronous activity of a large
number of neurons. The rhythmic events that these waves reflect often arise in
the thalamus whose activity is in turn affected by a variety of inputs including
structures in the brainstem reticular formation.

Components of the EEG waveform

The EEG waveform contains component waves of different frequencies. These


can be extracted and provide information about different brain activities. The
LabTutor software is set up so that the raw EEG signal is displayed in channel 1.
Digital filtering allows this to be analyzed into the component frequencies of
interest that are displayed in other channels. Each these waves (or rhythms)
provides information about different brain states. These waves are:

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1. Alpha (8 to 13 Hz; average amplitudes 30 to 50 V)

Alpha rhythm is seen when the eyes are closed and the subject relaxed. It is
abolished by eye opening and by mental effort such as doing calculations or
concentrating on an idea. It is thus thought to indicate the degree of cortical
activation, the greater the activation, the lower the alpha activity. Alpha waves
are strongest over the occipital (back of the head) cortex and also over frontal
cortex.

2. Beta (13 to 30 Hz; <20 V)

In awake, alert individuals with their eyes open, the dominant rhythm is beta. It
may be absent or reduced in areas of cortical damage and can be accentuated
by sedative-hypnotic drugs such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.

3. Theta (4 and 8 Hz; <30 V)

Theta rhythm is said not to be seen in awake adults but is perfectly normal in
awake children up to adolescence. It is normal during sleep at all ages. (Note
however, that some researchers separate this frequency band into two
components, low theta (4 - 5.45 Hz) activity that they correlate with decreased
arousal and increased drowsiness, and high theta (6 - 7.45 Hz) activity that it is
claimed is enhanced during tasks involving working memory.)

4. Delta (between 0.5 and 4 Hz; up to 100 - 200 V)

Delta rhythm is the dominant rhythm in sleep stages 3 and 4 but is not seen in
the conscious adult. It tends to have the highest amplitude of any of the
component EEG waves. Note that EEG artifacts caused by movements of jaw
and neck muscles can produce waves in the same frequency band.

4. Gamma (between 30 and 50 Hz)

Some people also recognize gamma waves but their existence and importance is
more controversial. It may be associated with higher mental activity, including
perception and consciousness and it disappears under general anesthesia. One
suggestion is that the gamma rhythm reflects the mental activity involved in
integrating various aspects of an object (color, shape, movement, etc) to form a
coherent picture. Interestingly, recent research has shown that gamma waves
are enhanced in Buddhist monks during meditation and are absent in
schizophrenics.

It is not presently possible to relate the EEG waves to specific underlying


neuronal activities. In general, the more active the brain the higher the frequency
and the lower the amplitude of the EEG. Conversely, the more inactive the brain
the lower the frequency and the higher the amplitude of the signal.

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The EEG during sleep

It is established that the EEG pattern provides an indicator of the sleep state.
Sleep consists of two very different alternating stages, non-REM and REM (rapid
eye movements) sleep. Non-REM sleep is often described in four stages that are
characterized by a progressive increase in sensory thresholds, an increase in
EEG wave amplitude, and a decrease in EEG wave frequency. Stage 1 is
marked by drowsiness and drifting in and out of consciousness, This is followed
by stages 2 and 3 and then 4. Sleepers then move back through the stages
except that rather than stage 1, REM sleep occurs. The whole cycle lasts
approximately 90 minutes so that, over the course of an 8 hour 'sleep', the cycle
is repeated 4 to 6 times. In the later cycles, the REM component is longer and
stages 3 and 4 become shorter.

Figure 2. Sleep cycles.

These stages can be correlated with EEG activity. Stage 1 is associated with
decreasing beta activity, alpha activity that becomes less obvious and the
emergence of theta activity. Stage 2 has irregular theta activity, short bursts of
waves of 12 - 14 Hz called sleep spindles, and sudden increases in wave
amplitude (K complexes).

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Figure 3. Sleep spindles.

Stages 1 and 2 are relatively "light" stages of sleep. In stages 3 and 4, delta
activity predominates with the distinction between the two being that in Stage 3
sleep there is delta activity for less that 50% of the time. In stages 3 and 4 we are
in deep sleep. In REM sleep, which can last from 20 to 60 minutes or more, the
EEG is similar to that in Stage 1. REM sleep is the stage most associated with
dreaming. Although the EEG shows significant activity during REM sleep, motor
activity is inhibited. Levels of brain serotonin and nor-epinephrine alter during
these sleep stages. In non-REM sleep stages 1 to 4, serotonin levels are
increased whereas during REM sleep, nor-epinephrine, corticosteroids and, in
males, testosterone is secreted. Non-REM sleep is characterized by decreases
in blood pressure, and heart and respiratory rates. In REM sleep, there is marked
variation in heart rate and blood pressure and irregular breathing.

In sleep studies, EOGs and EMGs are often recorded in addition to the EEG.
Non-REM sleep is characterized by rolling, uncoordinated and slow eye
movements and passively decreased muscle tone, whereas REM sleep has
rapid, coordinated eye movements (hence the name) and a little EMG activity
reflecting the active inhibition of muscle in this state.

Figure 4. Sleep stages.

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The EEG and changes in intracranial metabolism

Changes in the EEG can be detected in response to changes in the chemical


environment of the neurons. One easy way to demonstrate this in a student
laboratory is to observe the effects of hyperventilation. Hyperventilation lowers
blood PCO2. Since CO2 , being lipid soluble, readily crosses the blood-brain
barrier and cell membranes, this in turn results in decreased P CO2 (hypocapnia) in
the brain interstitial fluid and within the neurons and glial cells. Thus extracellular
and cellular pH is elevated - acute respiratory alkalosis. In addition, blood vessels
in the brain constrict with reduction in brain blood flow. The consequences are a
change in neuronal activity with slower rhythms and higher amplitudes (increased
delta and theta activities) as well as some decrease in alpha activity. There is still
debate about whether these EEG changes are a consequence of the metabolic
changes or of hemodynamic factors. One possibility is that they arise from
depressant effects of the hypocapnia on the brainstem reticular formation and
are analogous to the EEG changes seen in the transition from wakefulness to
sleep.

The EEG and the functions of the cerebral hemispheres

Efforts have also been made to use EEG recordings to dissect out the
contributions of the two hemispheres to brain function. It has been argued that
the left hemisphere is the 'logical' half of the brain concerned with reasoning,
problem solving and language while the right hemisphere is the more intuitive,
creative side concerned with images and spatial processing rather than with
language. Careful reading of the literature reveals this to be a major
oversimplification of cortical organization. In reality, there is little published EEG
evidence to lend credence to this hypothesis.

The EEG and personality

Attempts have also been made to relate personality to EEG patterns, perhaps
the most famous example being Eysenck's Cortical Arousal Model of Introversion
and Extraversion. Eysenck argued that there is some 'optimal' level of electrical
activity in the cortex. If we fall below this we tend to be bored and fall asleep;
above this we are unable to deal with the activity and feel overwhelmed. In this
construct, extraverts need additional mental stimulation (people around them,
loud music, etc) to reach this optimal cortical activity whereas introverts avoid
such additional stimulation as their cortical activity is already in the optimal
region. There has been considerable debate about the extent to which EEG
findings support this hypothesis.

Further Reading

Kraemer et al., Nature, Vol. 434, Page 158 (2005).

What you will do in the laboratory

89
There are four exercises that you will complete during this Lab.

1. EEG artifacts. In this exercise, you will learn to recognize common


artifacts seen while recording an EEG.

2. Alpha & Beta Rhythm. Here you will learn how best to elicit alpha waves
in an EEG recording.

3. Effects of mental activity. In this part of the laboratory, you will do some
simple arithmetic and observe the effects on the EEG activity.

4. Effects of auditory stimulation. Here you will examine the effects on the
EEG of the volume and the type of music.

90
Equipment setup
Plug the Bio Amp cable into the Bio Amp socket on the PowerLab.
Connect the leads of three EEG flat electrodes to Earth, CH1 NEG and POS, on
the Bio Amp cable.

Frontal Electrodes
Attach the frontal (negative/white) electrode
1. With a ballpoint pen, draw a small cross on the forehead of the volunteer's,
just below the hairline and about 5 cm to the right of the midline point(or
an equivalent position if the volunteer is bald).
2. Lightly abrade the skin over the cross with an abrasive gel or a pad.

This is an essential step as it decreases the electrical resistance of the


outer layer of skin and ensures good electrical contact.

3. If you are using electrode cream, squeeze about two drops into the
concave (hollow) side of the electrode. If you are using electrode paste,
squeeze some onto your finger and then daub it onto the marked cross.
Press the concave (hollow) side of the electrode firmly into the paste.
4. Place the electrode over the inked cross and fasten it to the surrounding
skin with a 5 to 8 cm length of adhesive tape.
5. To prevent the electrode from being pulled off accidentally, use another
piece of tape to attach the wire securely to the skin of the forehead.
Attach the earth (green) electrode to the forehead of the volunteer in the same
manner as the frontal electrode, but on the other side of the midline.

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Occipital Electrode
Attach the occipital (positive/black) electrode.
1. Tie a bandage firmly around the head. At the front it should pass between
the eyebrows and the previously attached frontal electrode. At the back, it
should be at the level of the widest part of the skull.
2. Pull the bandage down by 1 to 2 cm at the back of the head. Part the hair
of the exposed scalp, just a few cm from the midline, on the same side as
the frontal electrode.
3. With a ballpoint pen, draw a small mark on the scalp skin in the parting.
4. Lightly abrade the skin over the mark with an abrasive pad.
5. If you are using electrode cream, squeeze about two drops into the
concave (hollow) side of the electrode. If you are using electrode paste,
squeeze some onto your finger and then daub it onto the marked cross.
6. Place the electrode over the ink mark, while keeping the hair parted. Push
the electrode gently against the scalp to ensure good contact.
7. Taking care not to move or dislodge the electrode, pull the bandage up so
that it covers the electrode and holds it firmly in place.
8. To prevent the electrode from being pulled off accidentally, attach the
wire to the outside of the bandage with adhesive tape.
9. Check again that the electrode is pressed against the marked region of the
scalp. If necessary, carefully tighten the bandage.

Volunteer Positioning
Get the volunteer to lie in a comfortable position on his or her back, with the head
turned so that none of the electrodes are disturbed or compressed.
Check that all electrodes are properly connected to the volunteer and the Bio Amp
cable before proceeding.

Exercise 1: Recognizing Artifacts


The top channel in the LabTutor panel shows the raw EEG, the lower 4 channels display
digitally filtered raw data:

Alpha frequency (8 to 13 Hz, ~30-50 V)


Beta frequency(13 to 30 Hz, <20 V)
Theta frequency (4 and 8 Hz, <30 V)
Delta frequency (0.5 and 4 Hz, ~100-200 V).

During the experiment, use the scrollbars, Autoscale and Compression controls whenever
necessary to ensure you can see all the data recorded.

Remember to ensure that the volunteer is relaxed and lies still except when instructed
otherwise.

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Blinking Artifact

1. Click Start. Ask the volunteer to blink repeatedly.


2. Watch the volunteer and push the enter key to enter a comment each time the
volunteer blinks.
3. After 5 to 10 seconds, click Stop.

Eye Movements

1. Click Start. Ask the volunteer to gaze alternately left then right, in a repeated
pattern. The volunteer should keep the head still during these movements.
2. Watch the volunteer and push the enter key to enter a comment each time their
eyes move.
3. After 5 to 10 seconds, click Stop.

Head Movements

1. Click Start. Ask the volunteer to move their head alternately left then right, in a
repeated pattern.
2. Watch the volunteer and push the enter key to enter a comment each time their
head moves.
3. After 5 to 10 seconds, click Stop.

Analysis
1. Examine the recordings using the scroll bar at the bottom of the LabTutor panel
and by adjusting the vertical scale.
2. True EEG signals rarely exceed +50 V and -50 V. You should find large
signals outside the 50 V range that relate to blinking, eye movements and head
movements. These large signals are artifacts. If you do not see such signals, check
the electrode connections, and if necessary, remove and re-attach any connections
that seem of dubious quality.

There are three common causes of artifacts such as those you have recorded:

1. Electromyographic (EMG) activity in muscles of the face or scalp (e.g., blinking,


head movements).
2. Potentials arising from rotation of the eyes (electro-oculographic or EOG signals).
3. Mechanical movement of electrodes, especially the occipital one, whose
attachment is made insecure by hair.

Exercise 2: Alpha & Beta Rhythm


This part of the experiment examines alpha and beta waves (alpha or beta rhythm) in the
EEG, and the effect of having the eyes open or shut on this rhythm.

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Procedure:

1. Ensure that the volunteer is relaxed, lying quietly and has both eyes open.
2. Click Start.
3. Type 'shut' in the Comments panel. After about 30 seconds, ask the volunteer to
shut both eyes. Immediately click Add to enter the comment and continue
recording.
4. Type 'open' in the Comments panel. After about 30 seconds, ask the volunteer to
open both eyes. Immediately click Add to enter the comment.
5. Record for a few more seconds then click Stop.
6. Repeat this procedure twice more to give you three sets of results.

Your EEG data should resemble those in this figure.

Use Autoscale to enlarge the trace if required.

Analysis
Using the Horizontal Compression buttons and the scroll bar, review your recording
looking for evidence of a change in alpha waves amplitude between eyes open and eyes
shut. Look also for any change in beta wave activity.

You can recognize alpha waves by their amplitude and their timing. They are
usually less than 50 V (although it can be quite variable from volunteer to
volunteer). Each cycle of an alpha wave should last almost exactly 0.1 s as in this
example.

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If you cannot find evidence of a change in alpha wave activity between eyes open
and eyes shut, check that you are examining records taken with the volunteer's
eyes shut.
If your records consist mainly of large-amplitude artifacts, you may need to re-
attach one or more electrodes.

Some volunteers may not exhibit significant alpha wave activity. If this seems to
be the case, then try a different volunteer.

Having identified the alpha and beta waves, you will quantify any change in their
amplitude and/or frequency.

Procedure

1. From your first recording, for the period when the volunteer's eyes were open
select a portion relatively free from artifacts.
2. On making a selection the four Value panels will display measurements of
amplitude and frequency for both alpha and beta waves for the period selected.
Drag each value to the appropriate cell in the tables below.
3. Repeat these steps for the 'eyes shut' period and the subsequent two recordings.
The tables will display average amplitude and frequency, along with standard
deviation (SD).
4. Once you have completed the analysis use the navigation buttons below the tables
to view a graph of these variables.

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The graph generated by LabTutor shows the percentage change in both amplitude and
frequency between the eyes open (control) and eyes shut conditions for each waveform.
(Eyes shut = 100%).

Exercise 3: Effects of Mental Activity


In this exercise you will examine the effect of a mental arithmetic task on alpha and beta
rhythm, while the eyes are closed.

Procedure

1. Ensure that the volunteer is relaxed, lying quietly and has both eyes closed.
2. Click Start and enter the comment 'shut'.
3. After 30 seconds or so of sustained alpha rhythm give the volunteer the following
instructions:
o On your instructions, start mentally subtracting multiples of 7 from an
arbitrary starting number
e.g.; 100 - 7 = 93, 93 - 7 = 86, 86 - 7 = 79, etc...
o Instruct the volunteer to merely think the response and not speak it.
4. Add the comment 'math' when you instruct them to start the mental arithmetic.
5. After another thirty seconds or so of the mental arithmetic instruct the volunteer
to stop subtracting and to relax.
6. Record for a few more seconds then click Stop.
7. Repeat this procedure twice more to give you three sets of results.

Vary the mental arithmetic task for each repetition.

Analysis
Identify the alpha and beta waves associated with eyes shut with no arithmetic (control)
and when the mental arithmetic started. Now repeat the analysis as for Exercise 2.

1. From your first recording, select a portion when the volunteer's eyes were shut but
they weren't performing any mental arithmetic.
2. Drag the calculated measurements of amplitude and frequency from the Value
panels into the appropriate cell in the tables below.
3. Repeat these steps for all three recordings of eyes shut, with and without
arithmetic. The tables will display average amplitude and frequency, along with
standard deviation (SD).
4. Once you have completed the analysis use the navigation buttons below the tables
to view a graph of these variables.

The graph generated by LabTutor shows the percentage change in both amplitude and
frequency between the no arithmetic (control) and arithmetic conditions for each
waveform. (No arithmetic = 100%).

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Exercise 4: Effects of Auditory Stimulation
In this exercise you will examine the effect of different types and volumes of music on
alpha and beta rhythm, while the eyes are closed.

Procedure

1. You will need a set of headphones and a method of playing music to the subject.
2. Cue the following types of music for presentation to the volunteer.
o Soothing (classical) music, low volume.
o Soothing (classical) music, high volume.
o Intense (rock) music, low volume.
o Intense (rock) music, high volume.
3. Ensure that the volunteer is relaxed, lying quietly, has the headphones on and has
both eyes closed.
4. Click Start and enter the comment 'shut'.
5. After 30 seconds or so of sustained alpha rhythm present the first type of music
and add an appropriate comment
6. After another 30 seconds or so of recording stop the music.
7. Record for a few more seconds then click Stop.
8. Repeat this procedure for each different type and volume of music.

Analysis
Identify the alpha and beta waves associated with eyes shut (control) and each type of
music presented. Now repeat the analysis as for Exercise 2 and 3.

1. From your first recording, select a portion when the volunteer's eyes were shut
with no music playing.
2. Drag the calculated measurements of amplitude and frequency from the Value
panels into the appropriate cell in the tables below.
3. Repeat these steps for all recordings of eyes shut, with and without the different
types of music. The tables will display average amplitude and frequency.
4. Once you have completed the analysis use the navigation buttons below the tables
to view a graph of these variables.

The graph generated by LabTutor shows the percentage change in both amplitude and
frequency between the no music (average) and the different types of music, for each
waveform. (No music = 100%).

97
98
Objective

In this set of experiments, students measure voluntary and evoked muscle activity
of a student volunteer. In addition, they calculate conduction velocity of the
median nerve in the forearm.

Material Provided for the Electromyography Laboratory


Electromyography experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818
Shielded 5-lead BioAmp cable [ML2540]
Disposable ECG electrodes [MLA1010]
Stimulating Bar electrode [MLADDF30]
Electrode cream [MLA1090]
Abrasive Gel [MLA1093B] or Abrasive pads [MLA1092]
Alcohol swabs [MLA1094]
Ballpoint pen
Four books or similar objects of similar weight (about 1 kg each)

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant Safety Notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

When using the Bio Amp please note that there is no direct electrical connection
to ground (earth). This isolation protects against a wide range of possible
electrical faults. To maintain isolation, dont connect the subject to electrical
equipment other than the EMG recording leads, which in turn should connect only
to the Bio Amp input through the supplied Bio Amp cable.

Only use Isolated Stimulator outputs with the bar stimulus electrode or a similar
electrode; do not use individual (physically separate) stimulating electrodes. The

99
Isolated Stimulator outputs, although electrically isolated, can produce pulses of
up to 100 volts at up to 20 mA. Injury could thus occur from careless use.
Stimulation must not be applied across the chest or head. Ensure that the subject
does not hold one electrode in each hand. Always use a suitable electrode cream
or gel to ensure a low-impedance electrode contact. Using dry electrodes can
cause discomfort for the subject.

Connecting single pin (unshielded) leads to the shielded Bio Amp


cable.
The shielded Bio Amp cable has connectors with two pins. Unshielded lead wires
are compatible with this cable provided they are correctly attached. Attach
unshielded lead wires to the upper pin (nearest the label) on the appropriate

channel of the Bio Amp cable (Figure 1).

Troubleshooting Biological Signals


Noise
Noisy EMG signals are usually due to poor connection of the recording electrodes.

1. Make sure the skin has been abraded with an abrasive pad/gel.
2. Use a small amount of electrode cream on the recording electrode.

Failure to evoke M waves by nerve stimulation


This may be due to incorrect placement of bar stimulus electrodes (especially the
one at the elbow), or to wrong settings of the stimulator. Some students may not
show a measurable response to median nerve stimulation. In these subjects, the
abductor pollicis brevis is innervated by the ulnar nerve instead of the median
nerve (an example of anatomical variation).

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Discomfort or pain from the stimulus
The perceived discomfort varies greatly from subject to subject. It is affected by
novelty and fear, and in most subjects decreases with experience.

1. For minimum discomfort, check that the stimulus electrodes are not dry;
they should have a small amount of electrode cream on them.
2. The skin between the electrodes should be wiped clean of electrode cream
to minimize passage of stimulus current along the surface.

101
Introduction
In this laboratory, you will explore the electrical activity of skeletal muscle by
recording an electromyogram (EMG) from a volunteer. You will examine the EMG
of both voluntary and evoked muscle action, and use this technique to measure
nerve conduction velocity.

Background
Skeletal muscles do the majority of the work for locomotion and support of the
animal skeleton. Each muscle is made up of individual muscle fibers organized in
fascicles (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Skeletal muscle structure.

Each individual fiber is innervated by a branch of a motor axon. Under normal


circumstances, a neuronal action potential activates all of the muscle fibers
innervated by the motor neuron and its axonal branches. The motor neuron,
together with all of the individual muscle fibers that it innervates, is termed a
motor unit (Figure 2).

This activation process involves the initiation of an action potential (either


voluntarily, or as a result of electrical stimulation of a peripheral nerve), conduction
of the action potential along the nerve fiber, release of neurotransmitter at the
neuromuscular junction and depolarization of the muscle membrane with resultant
contraction of the muscle fibers.

102
Figure 2. The components of a motor unit.

Electromyography is a technique that measures the electrical activity of the


muscles and the nerves controlling the muscles. The data recorded is an
Electromyogram (also known as an EMG or Myogram). There are two methods
of recording: needle electrodes inserted through the skin into the muscle, or
electrodes placed on the skin surface. The size and shape of the waveform
measured provide information about the ability of the muscle to respond when the
nerves are stimulated. In the clinical setting, EMG is most often used when people
have symptoms of weakness, and examination shows impaired muscle strength. It
can help to differentiate muscle weakness caused by neurological disorders from
other conditions.

The EMG provides a depiction of the timing and pattern of muscle activity during
complex movements. The raw surface EMG signal reflects the electrical activity of
the muscle fibers active at that time. Motor units fire asynchronously and it is
sometimes possible, with exceedingly weak contractions, to detect the
contributions of individual motor units to the EMG signal. As the strength of the
muscular contraction increases, however, the density of action potentials
increases and the raw signal at any time may represent the electrical activity of
perhaps thousands of individual fibers.

103
In the first exercise, you will record EMG activity during voluntary contractions of
the biceps and triceps muscles of the arm (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Skeletal muscle structure.

The raw EMG signal during voluntary contractions may be processed in various
ways to indicate the intensity of EMG activity. In the method used here, the
negative-going portions of the EMG are inverted, and then the whole signal is
integrated in such a way as to smooth out individual spikes, and make the time
course of changing activity much clearer.

In this part of the exercise you will examine coactivation: a phenomenon in which
contraction of a muscle leads to more minor activity in the antagonist muscle. The
physiological significance of this is not entirely clear, but it has been suggested
that it helps to stabilize the joint.

You will also record evoked EMG signals produced by electrical stimulation of a
motor nerve supplying a muscle. The abductor pollicis brevis muscle is a member
of the thenar muscle group on the palmar surface of the hand (Figure 4).

104
Figure 4. Some muscles of the forearm and hand.

The motor nerve to the abductor pollicis brevis muscle (the median nerve) is easy
to stimulate at the wrist and elbow. In this exercise, flat metal disc electrodes are
attached to your skin. Brief electrical pulses are administered through the skin to
the nerve, and the time it takes for the muscle to contract in response to the
electrical pulse is recorded.

The speed of the response is dependent on the conduction velocity. In general,


the range of normal conduction velocities will be approximately 50 to 60 meters
per second. However, the normal conduction velocity may vary from one
individual to another and from one nerve to another.

Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.
Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help detect the
presence, location and extent of diseases that damage muscle tissue (such as
muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Lou
Gehrig's disease). In the case of nerve injury, the actual site of nerve damage can
often be located. In a clinical setting, EMG and nerve conduction studies are
usually done together.

When external nerve stimulation is applied, the volunteer will feel a brief 'pinch', a
tingling sensation and a twitching of the muscle. It may feel similar to the static
discharge felt when rubbing one's feet on the carpet and then touching a metal
object. In our exercises, each electrical pulse is very brief (less than a
millisecond). The energy of electrical pulses is not high enough to cause an injury
or damage. There are no risks associated with these small currents. Nothing is
inserted into the skin, so there is no risk of infection.

105
What you will do in the Laboratory
You will perform four exercises:

1. Voluntary change in contractile force. You will record EMG during voluntary
muscle contractions, and investigate how contractile force changes with
increasing demand.

2. Alternating activity and coactivation. Here you will examine the activity of
antagonist muscles and the phenomenon of coactivation.

3. Evoked EMG. In this exercise, you will record EMG responses evoked by
stimulating the median nerve at the wrist.

4. Nerve conduction velocity. In this exercise, you will measure nerve


conduction velocity from the difference in latencies between responses evoked
by nerve stimulation at the wrist and the elbow.

106
Procedure
Caution!

Some exercises involve application of electrical shocks to muscle through electrodes


placed on the skin.

People who have cardiac pacemakers or who suffer from neurological or cardiac
disorders should not volunteer for such exercises.

If the volunteer feels major discomfort during the exercises, discontinue the exercise
immediately and consult your instructor.

Electrode attachment:

1. Remove any watch, jewelry, etc. from your wrists.


2. Plug the five-lead Bio Amp cable into the Bio Amp socket on the PowerLab unit.
3. Plug the five color-coded lead wires into the Bio Amp cable, as shown.
4. Firmly attach the dry earth strap around your palm or wrist. The fuzzy side of the
dry earth strap needs to make full contact with the skin. Attach the green lead wire
to the earth strap. If the dry earth strap has a single connector lead wire it should
be inserted onto the pin nearest the Earth label.
5. If alcohol swabs are available, firmly swab the skin with them in each area where
electrodes will be placed. Lightly mark two small crosses on the skin overlying
the biceps muscle, in the position for the biceps recording electrodes, as shown.
The crosses should be 2-5 cm apart and aligned with the long axis of the arm.
Lightly abrade the skin at these areas with abrasive gel or a pad.

This is an essential step as it decreases the electrical resistance of the outer


layer of skin and ensures good electrical contact.

6. Prepare the skin over the triceps for attaching the electrodes as outlined in step 5
for the biceps. The position for the triceps recording electrodes is shown in the
figure.
7. Prepare the disposable ECG electrodes by removing the backing film. Place the
electrodes onto the skin over the crosses so they adhere well.
8. Plug the four shielded lead wires into the Bio Amp cable ports for positive and
negative, CH1 and CH2.
9. Snap the lead wires from CH1 on the Bio Amp cable onto the electrodes on the
subject's biceps.Snap the lead wires from CH2 on the Bio Amp cable onto the
electrodes on the subject's triceps. It does not matter which is positive and which
is negative.
10. Check that all four electrodes and the dry earth strap are properly connected to the
volunteer and the Bio Amp cable before proceeding.
11. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.

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Exercise 1: Voluntary Muscle Contractions
You will record electrical activity during voluntary muscle contractions, and investigate
how it changes with increasing demand.

The two lower channels in the LabTutor panel show raw activity; the two upper channels
display integrated activity, calculated from the raw signal. Integrated activity is
commonly used in the assessment of muscle function because it is easier to quantitate.

Procedure

During the experiment, use Autoscale whenever necessary to ensure you can see all
the data recorded.

1. Sit in a relaxed position, with your elbow bent to 90 and the palm facing
upwards. Use your other hand to grasp the wrist of the arm from which the signal
is being recorded.
2. Add a comment to the data file with your name.
3. Click Start.
4. Add the comment "biceps contraction", and immediately make a moderate
contraction of the biceps muscle, by trying to bend the arm further and resisting
this movement with your other arm. Observe the signal.
5. Enter the comment "triceps contraction", and immediately make a moderate
contraction of the triceps muscle by trying to straighten out the arm and resisting
this movement with your other arm.

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6. Repeat steps 3 to 5, but this time make a maximal contraction of the biceps and
then the triceps muscles.
7. Click Stop.

Remember to click Autoscale if the recorded signal traces are not all clearly visible in
the LabTutor panel .

8. Once again sit in a relaxed position, with your elbow unsupported and bent to 90
with the palm facing upwards.
9. Click Start to resume recording.
10. Have someone place a book or a similar weight on your hand and add the
comment "one book".
11. Leave the book in place for two to three seconds to record the change in the
EMG.
12. Remove the book.
13. Click Stop.
14. Repeat steps 9-13 for two, then three, then four books, to give a series of
increasing weights, adding a comment each time.

Analysis
1. Scroll through the recorded data and note the changes in activity in the raw biceps
channel (Biceps). Note also that placing weights on the hand gives rise to little or
no activity in the triceps muscle.
2. Choose a small part of the "Biceps" activity and examine it in more detail by
setting the Horizontal compression to 1:1 and clicking Autoscale. Note that the
raw EMG signal is composed of many partly-overlapping spikes.
3. Note the relationship between the raw trace (Biceps) and integrated trace (Int.
Biceps). The height of the integrated trace reflects the overall activity of the raw
EMG signal, and gives a simpler view of the muscle's electrical activity.
4. Use the Waveform Cursor and Value panel to record in the table the amplitude of
the integrated trace as weights were added and removed. The height of the trace
correlates with the force produced by the muscle.

Exercise 2: Alternative Activity and Coactivation


You will examine the activity of antagonist muscles and the phenomenon of coactivation.

Procedure

1. Sit in a relaxed position, with your elbow bent to 90 with the palm facing
upwards. Use the other hand to grasp the wrist of the arm from which the signal is
being recorded.

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2. Activate the biceps and triceps alternately as you did for Exercise 1. Practice this
alternating pattern until it feels to you that both muscles are being equally
activated in turn.
3. Click Start.
4. Perform the alternating pattern of activation for 20 to 30 seconds.
5. Click Stop.
6. Examine your data. The waveforms should look something like those shown here.

Analysis
1. Scroll through the recorded data and observe the EMG traces for both the biceps
and triceps.
2. Note the large-scale alternation of activity in the biceps and triceps.
3. Note that when the biceps muscle is activated forcefully, there is a minor increase
of activity in the triceps. Correspondingly, there is a minor increase of activity in
the biceps trace when the triceps are activated. This phenomenon is called
'coactivation'. Its physiological meaning is not well understood, although it
perhaps serves to stabilize the elbow joint.
4. Measure and insert into the table the integrated EMG peaks for biceps and triceps
during contraction of biceps and triceps. You do this using the two Value panels.

Evoked EMG setup


Procedure
For this next exercise, you will stimulate the median nerve at the wrist and record muscle
activity from the Abductor pollicis brevis (a thumb muscle). You can continue with the
same volunteer or choose someone else.

Muscle contraction and sensations such as tingling or brief pain, are associated
with nerve stimulation.

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Since only two of the four recording electrodes are needed in this exercise, do the
following:

disconnect the recording electrode leads from the Channel 2 sockets of the Bio
Amp cable,and remove their electrodes from the triceps of the subject
remove the electrodes from the biceps of the subject, but leave their leads
connected to the Channel 1 sockets of the Bio Amp cable.

Now continue with the setup:

1. With a ballpoint pen, lightly mark two small crosses on the skin above the
abductor pollicis brevis muscle, in the position for the recording electrodes shown
in the figure. The crosses should be 2-3 cm apart.
2. Lightly abrade the marked skin to reduce its electrical resistance.
3. Obtain two new disposable ECG electrodes and trim the adhesive pad slightly so
they will fit as shown in the figure.
4. Attach the electrodes to the skin over the crosses you marked. To reduce electrode
movement, use adhesive tape to attach the wires to the skin close to the electrode.

The dot on the back of the bar electrode indicates the positive electrode. Secure the
electrode as shown in the figure, with the negative electrode closer to the wrist. The
electrode should lie along the axis of the arm, with the leads pointing towards the hand.

5. Connect the Stimulating Bar Electrode to the Isolated Stimulator output of the
PowerLab: the red (positive) connector to the red output and the black (negative)
connector to the black output.

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Stimulating Bar Electrode

The Stimulating Bar Electrode connects to any PowerLab with a built in


Isolated Stimulator or the Isolated Stimulator front end. It is used for the
electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves.

When stimulating peripheral nerves it's important to orient the electrode


appropriately. This orientation will vary with model, so first identify which
of the models you are using.

There are two different models of Stimulating Bar Electrodes;

The newer model is constructed from black plastic molding with a red
dot on the rear face, representing the positive electrode, at the end
closest to the cables.
The older model (see image above) is constructed from white plastic
with the equivalent red dot at the opposite end to the cables.

6. Place a small amount of electrode cream on the two silver pads of the stimulating
bar.
7. Place the stimulus electrode over the volunteer's median nerve at the wrist (the
approximate placing is shown in the figure).
8. Turn the Stimulator switch ON. The Isolated Stimulator only becomes active
during sampling; it is switched off internally at all other times.

Exercise 3: Evoked EMG


You will stimulate the median nerve at the wrist and record muscle activity from the
Abductor pollicis brevis (a thumb muscle).

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Procedure

1. Set the pulse current in the Isolated Stimulator box to 8 mA by clicking the
arrows or dragging the slider control. Recording will automatically stop after 0.05
seconds.
2. Click Start every time that you wish to stimulate. You should expect to see a
waveform that looks something like this.

Apply manual pressure to the back of the stimulus electrode to ensure that the
nerve is stimulated and that the electrode doesn't move around during the
exercise.
Adjust the electrode to find the best position for stimulation as judged by the
amplitude of the response.
If you cannot get a response, increase the pulse current to 10 or even 12 mA. If
there is still no response try stimulating the ulnar nerve. (In some people, the
abductor pollicis brevis is innervated by the ulnar nerve instead of the median
nerve - an example of anatomical variation).

3. Once the electrode is optimally placed, increase the amplitude in 2 mA


increments. Record the responses until either you reach 20 mA or the response no
longer increases.
4. Turn the stimulator switch OFF.
5. Remove the stimulus electrode and mark with a pen the electrode indentation in
the skin nearest to the hand.

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Analysis
1. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the LabTutor panel to review records recorded
with stimulation at the wrist.
2. Measure the latency of a single waveform (the magnitude of the waveform is of
no consequence).

'Latency' is the time elapsed from the start of the stimulus pulse (the start of each
record) to the start of the evoked response. Note; you may see a very early
deflection. This is the stimulus artifact and must be ignored.

Stimulus Artifact
The stimulus artifact occurs from conduction
of the stimulus to the muscle directly through
the tissue of the body. Conduction is thus
extremely fast but undirected. The maximal
response to neural stimulation will be
significantly higher in amplitude.

3. Click at the point where the response begins.


4. Transfer the latency from the Value panel to the Latency (Wrist) column of the
table. In the next exercise you will stimulate at the elbow and again measure the
latency.

Exercise 4: Nerve Conductive Velocity


You will measure responses evoked by nerve stimulation at the elbow. The latency of
these responses is longer than those evoked by stimulation at the wrist. You will be able
to calculate nerve conduction velocity from the difference in latencies.

Setup

1. Position the Bar Stimulus Electrode on the medial aspect of the front of the elbow
as shown here.

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The electrode requires firmer pressure at the elbow than at the wrist because the
nerve is deeper in the tissues. The orientation of the electrode should be the same
as for wrist stimulation, with the red dot positioned closest to the elbow.

2. Turn the Stimulator switch ON.

Procedure

1. Set the current in the Stimulator panel to 8 mA.


2. Click Start every time you wish to stimulate. Do this several times, using these
low-amplitude pulses to help to find the best position for the electrode.
3. If you cannot get a response, increase the stimulus current.
4. Once you have found the best position for the bar stimulus electrode, increase the
stimulus to 15-20 mA.
5. Click Start.
6. Repeat several times.
7. Turn the stimulator switch OFF.
8. Remove the stimulus electrode and mark with a pen the electrode indentation in
the skin nearest to the hand. Remove the other electrodes.

Analysis
1. Measure and record the distance between the marks at the elbow and at the wrist.
This is the distance between stimulation sites.
2. Use the same steps as outlined for wrist stimulation to measure the latency of a
single waveform in the LabTutor panel.
3. Record the latency value in the table.

The conduction velocity is calculated automatically in the table, using the equation:

Velocity = Distance Time

The units of velocity are mm/ms or, equivalently, m/s.

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116
Objective
In this set of experiments, students will explore how to record electro-oculograms
(EOGs). Students will examine the EOG in the horizontal plane, slow tracking,
saccades, and nystagmus. This experiment is suitable for students at
introductory or advanced levels, who have a familiarity with the PowerLab
system.

Material Provided for the Electro-oculography


Laboratory
Electro-oculography experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Text
Is a Word document with some text of a font size suitable for Exercise 3 -
Saccades. This is the same text as is provided in the pop-up window with this
Exercise. Students can read this printed version rather than reading off the
screen, if preferred.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818], or
PTK15 EOG kit:
EOG Pod [ML317]
Three shielded snap-on lead wires [MLA2503]
Disposable pre-gelled ECG electrodes [MLA1010]
Electrode Cream [MLA1090]
Abrasive pads [MLA1092]
Alcohol swabs [MLA1094]
A book or a page of text for reading
Meter stick or tape measure
Colored chalk or tape
Ballpoint pen

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Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant safety notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The EOG pod is electrically isolated and safe for direct electrical connection to
human subjects.

Electrodes
It is important that you use fresh ECG electrodes for this experiment; old
electrodes can dry out, leading to a poor connection.
Use a small amount of electrode cream on the electrode surface to reduce
impedance.
Remove dead skin with an abrasive pad/gel before applying electrodes.

Zeroing the EOG Pod


The EOG Pod is a DC-coupled device. This means that it has a signal offset that
needs to be adjusted manually. The pod should be re-zeroed before each
exercise.
If you are unable to zero the EOG Pod:
Check the connections on the volunteer.
Replace the ECG electrodes with fresh ones; pre-gelled electrodes can
dry out over time, leading to a signal offset that is too high to correct.

Signal Noise
EOG recordings can be prone to signal artifacts. If you have a noisy signal, try
the following:
Check the connections as described above and make sure fresh ECG
electrodes are used.
EMG signals are also a major source of noise-- make sure the volunteer
does not talk or clench their teeth during recording.

Text for students to read while detecting saccades (Exercise 3)


An example of text suitable for this is provided as a popup window in an
appropriate place in the experiment.

If for any reason, you prefer the student to read this from a hard-copy, print out
the file Electro-oculography (EOG) EXERCISE3TEXT.doc.

The font type and size used for the printout has been found to be suitable for this
part of the exercise.

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Introduction
In this experiment, you will investigate eye movements by recording an electro-
oculogram (EOG). You will examine the EOG in the horizontal plane and study
aspects of gaze-shifting and gaze-holding.

Background
The vertebrate eye is an important sensory organ that converts light energy into
nerve impulses. In humans, the position of the eyes in the front of the head
creates overlapping visual fields, which results in stereovision. Eye movements
are controlled by the six extrinsic muscles of each eye. These muscles allow the
eyes to either track moving objects or fixate on stationary ones as the head
moves.

Figure 1. The extrinsic muscles of the eye.

Light must fall on the fovea at the center of the eye for an image to be sharp. The
fovea is the region of the retina with the highest density of photoreceptors and
hence, greatest visual acuity. This foveal region includes about 2 degrees of
visual angle around the point of fixation, (1 degree is equal to three or four letters
on a printed page). During a fixation, an image is also projected on the
parafoveal and peripheral regions of the retina. The parafoveal region extends to
about 15 to 20 letters, and the peripheral region includes everything in the visual
field beyond the parafoveal region.

In addition, visual neurons respond quite slowly to the retinal image. Thus, if the
retinal image is moving to any extent, the neurons are unable to process the
information accurately.

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Figure 2. The structure of the eye.

For these reasons, there are several processes that enable us to see as clearly
as possible. These are considered in relation to gaze-shifting and gaze-holding.

Gaze-shifting

This describes the mechanisms that we use to enable us to see an object as


clearly as possible.

To track a moving object clearly, the eye must follow the object so that the fovea
continues to receive light from the object. Two types of movement can be seen.
When an object moves relatively slowly with respect to the head, the eyes can
follow the object without interruption. This is smooth pursuit and is used for
speeds up to 30 - 40 /s.

When the movement of the object is too fast for the eye to follow smoothly, rapid,
jerky, saccadic movements are seen. In these, the tracking period is followed by
an abrupt, rapid re-positioning of the eye (lasting perhaps 20 ms), to retain the
image of interest in the foveal region. This rapid re-positioning is called a
saccade, the rate of which may reach 900 /s.

Another example of saccadic movement is seen when you read text from a book;
a saccade occurs as you reach the end of one line and move to the start of the
next.

Gaze-holding
This describes our attempt to track an object despite our own movements. Two
reflexes can be identified. Optokinetic reflexes involve a visual feedback loop that

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generates eye movements in the opposite direction to our body movement. This
mechanism is relatively sluggish but is seen, for example when we look out of the
window of a moving vehicle at some relatively distant object. In contrast,
vestibulo-ocular reflexes utilize the vestibular system to detect movement of the
head in space and result in much more rapid eye movements. An example is our
ability to read a book in a moving vehicle.

Both vestibular and optokinetic stimulation, if prolonged and unidirectional, can


generate saccades as the smooth and relatively slow compensatory eye
movements are interrupted by a fast repositioning (a saccade). This sawtooth
behaviour is called nystagmus.

Figure 3. Potential difference across the eye.

EOG
Eye movements can be recorded using electrodes placed on the skin near the
eyes. This kind of recording is electro-oculography (EOG). An EOG records eye
movement because of a voltage difference between the cornea and retina. As
the eye moves, the vector of this electric field changes with respect to recording
electrodes placed on the skin.

The EOG is greater in the light than in the dark reflecting the decreased retinal
pigment epithelium potential difference in the dark. The deviation recorded by
EOG when an eye moves, therefore, depends on:

i. The angle through which the eye moves.


ii. The intensity of illumination of the eye and its state of adaptation to light.

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In practice, either (i) or (ii) is kept constant. When (ii) is constant, EOG is the
simplest way of obtaining a reasonably accurate record of the directions in which
an eye is looking and of eye movement. It can be measured when the eyes are
closed, and thus allows the identification of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It
is also a useful diagnostic tool in some neurological disorders.

In ophthalmology, EOG is more commonly used to assess the function of the


retinal pigment epithelium (i.e. (i) is constant). Testing for this purpose is based
on the fact that the corneo-retinal potential is normally greater when the eye is
illuminated than it is when the eye is in the dark.

EOG is being used in conjunction with EMG and EEG to develop the next
generation of hands-free control for electronic devices. EOG control of
keyboards, mouse cursors, and wheelchairs is under development.

What you will do in the laboratory


1. Recognizing artifacts in the EOG. Here you will learn to recognize common
activities (eg., blinking, facial muscle activity) that can interfere with the EOG
recording.

2. EOG and angular displacement. In this part of the lab you will learn the
basics of electrooculography and observe angular displacement of the
electrical field of the eye.

3. Saccades. In this experiment you will observe saccades, or fast tracking


movements of the eye that are not smooth.

4. Smooth tracking. In this experiment you will observe smooth tracking and
compare it to saccades.

5. Gaze-holding. In this experiment you will investigate how a clear image of an


object can be maintained while the head is moving.

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Procedure
Subject preparation

1. Choose a member of your lab group as a subject.


2. Using a ballpoint pen, mark the areas on the skin for EOG electrode placement, as
in Figure 1.
3. Lightly abrade the skin over the marks with abrasive gel or a pad.
4. Peel off the backing of one of the disposable, pre-gelled ECG electrodes and
adhere it over one of the marked areas on the volunteer. Repeat for the other two
electrodes.
5. Connect the lead wires to the subject with the snap-on connectors. Note that the
wire from the forehead is the reference (earth) wire. Use the green lead for this
connection.
6. Connect the three shielded lead wires to the rear of the EOG Pod. The green lead
(earth) goes into the middle connector on the rear of the EOG Pod.
7. Plug the EOG Pod to the Input 1 of the PowerLab.

Zeroing the EOG Pod

1. Click Start.
2. Have the volunteer gaze on a point directly in front.
3. Using the knob on the front of the EOG Pod, zero the signal.
4. Click Stop.

The signal from the EOG Pod is prone to drift. You should check that the signal is
zeroed before each exercise.

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Exercise 1: Recording Artifacts
Because the EOG is recorded from the skin surface, it is essential to recognize signal
artifacts and distinguish them from the actual EOG signal. Eye blinks are unavoidable;
they will alter the EOG signal and it is important to be able to identify them.
Electromyograph (EMG) signals from muscles in the face can also be recorded.

Procedure

1. Type in a comment: 'blink'. Do not add the comment yet.


2. Click Start.
3. Have the subject blink several times, and enter the comment.
4. Click Stop.
5. Type in a comment: 'EMG'.
6. Click Start.
7. Have the subject clench the teeth together for several seconds.
8. Click ' Add' to add the comment to the Chart View.
9. Click Stop.

Analysis
Study the data to become familiar with these two artifact signals.

Exercise 2: Angular Displacement


In this exercise you will record angular displacement and relate it to EOG amplitude in a
volunteer.

Procedure

1. Position a chair so that, when sitting comfortably, the subject's head is exactly one
meter from the wall. Check the distance using a tape measure.
2. Make temporary marks on the wall at the subject's eye level with tape or chalk as
shown here. These marks correspond to +/-15, +/-30 and +/-45 angles at 1 m
viewing distance.

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3. Have the subject look at the center mark that is directly in front. This is 0 degrees.
From now on, the subject's head should not move.
4. Type in a comment: 'angle calibration'.
5. Click Start
6. Add the comment.
7. Ask the subject to move the eyes while keeping the head still and stare at the mark
furthest to the left for two to three seconds. By convention angles to the
volunteers left will be negative, angles to the right will be positive.
8. Add a comment: '-45'.
9. Repeat for the remaining marks on the wall, from left to right (-45, -30, -15, 0, 15,
30, 45), adding an appropriate comment each time the subject views another
point.
10. Click Stop.

Analysis
1. Place the Waveform Cursor on the portion of the trace corresponding to the -45
mark.
2. Click to place the amplitude of the EOG signal in the Value panel.
3. Drag the number from the Value panel into the amplitude column of the table.
4. Repeat these steps for each view angle.

Exercise 3: Saccades
Saccades are fast re-positioning movements of the eye. The easiest way to observe
saccades is to record the EOG while the subject reads a page of text.

Procedure

1. Type in a comment: ' fast tracking'.

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2. Click Start and click Add to add the comment to the LabTutor panel.
3. Have the subject sit comfortably in front of the computer screen, ready to read a
paragraph of text.
4. Click here to open a pop-up window which contains a paragraph of text of a
suitable size for this experiment.

It is essential to position this pop-up window over the LabTutor panel so that
the subject is not distracted by the recording while reading the text. Alternatively,
the subject may read from printed text provided to you by your Instructor.

5. Close the popup window.


6. Click Stop. Your data should look similar to this though it may be oriented in the
other direction.

Analysis
1. Use the Horizontal Compression buttons to set a compression of 2:1.
2. Place the Marker at the start of a saccade. Each 'step' in the recorded signal
corresponds to a single saccade.
3. Move the Waveform Cursor to the end of the saccade.
4. Click to add the duration of the saccade to the Value panel and drag the value to
the appropriate table cell.
5. Select four more saccades and repeat steps 1-3 to get an average of five saccades
in total.

Exercise 4: Smooth Tracking


In this exercise, you will examine the ability of the volunteer to follow a slowly moving
object.

Procedure

1. Have a member of your group hold a pen or pencil about 50 cm in front of the
subject who should be looking straight ahead.

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2. Instruct the subject to fixate on the pencil without moving the head.
3. Type in a comment: 'smooth tracking'.
4. Click Start.
5. Add the comment.
6. Move the pencil slowly to the left and right of the subject keeping within a range
that the subject can track with the eyes without moving the head.
7. Click Stop.

Analysis
1. Observe the recording.
2. Look for evidence of saccades.

Exercise 5: Gaze Holding


So far we have examined aspects of gaze-shifting: the mechanisms that we use to enable
us to see an object as clearly as possible.

Gaze-Holding describes our attempt to track an object despite our own movements. This
can involve both optokinetic and vestibulo-ocular reflexes. Head movements are detected
far more rapidly by the vestibular apparatus than by the visual system. This can be
demonstrated as follows:

Procedure (i)

1. Hold your hand at arm's length and wave it from side to side, gradually increasing
the rate.
2. Now, hold your hand still but rotate your head from side to side, again gradually
increasing the rate.

Procedure (ii)

1. Time someone reading a long paragraph on a page in a book while shaking the
head from side to side. Enter the time in the table.
2. Repeat this but with the head still and the page of the book moving from side to
side. Enter this time in the table.

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128
Objective

In this set of experiments students will explore how muscles work and some of the
properties of muscle fatigue. Students will electrically stimulate the nerves in the
forearm to demonstrate recruitment, summation and tetanus.

Material Provided for the Muscle Laboratory


Muscle experiment
This provides the step by-step instructions for performing the laboratory and
analyzing the data.

Laboratory Handout
Contains the relevant background material and a summary of the experiments.
Ideally this should be provided to the students prior to the class session.

Pre-lab Quiz
This may be used at the instructors discretion.

Equipment List
PowerLab 15T [ML818],
Stimulating Bar Electrode [MLADDF30]
Electrode Cream [MLA1090]
Finger Pulse Transducer [MLT1010]
Hand Dynamometer [MLT003/D]

Troubleshooting
Safety
You should be familiar with the relevant Safety Notes at the start of the hardware
manual.

The finger pulse and grip force transducers are perfectly safe when connected to
Input 1 or Input 2 of a PowerLab. However, those inputs are not isolated and
must not be used for direct electrical connection to human subjects.

Use Isolated Stimulator outputs with the bar stimulus electrode or a similar
electrode only. Do not perform this experiment with individual (physically
separate) stimulating electrodes. The Isolated Stimulator outputs, although

129
electrically isolated, can produce pulses of up to 100 volts at up to 20 mA. Injury
can occur from careless use. Do not apply stimulation to the chest or head.
Ensure that the subject does not hold one electrode in each hand. Always use a
suitable electrode cream or gel to ensure a low-impedance electrode contact.
Using dry electrodes can cause discomfort for the subject.

Possible problems that could arise in this experiment include:


Some students may find the stimuli too uncomfortable.
Some students may react to the stimuli with involuntary arm movements,
giving a double-peaked response.
Incorrect thumb placement on the pulse transducer may result in poor
recorded signals.
Excess electrode cream on the skin may short-circuit the stimulus
electrodes, preventing nerve stimulation.

Recording from the pulse transducer


Noise
The MLT1010 Finger Pulse Transducer is a very sensitive instrument. Even
slight movements by the volunteer can result in noisy recordings. Instruct
volunteers to keep their hands as still as possible between stimuli.

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Introduction
In these experiments, you will explore how muscles work and examine some of
the properties of muscle fatigue. You will electrically stimulate the nerves of the
forearm using the Isolated Stimulator built into your PowerLab. You and your
group will be able to examine recruitment, summation and tetanus. In addition,
you will use a hand dynamometer to examine grip force and the ability to sustain
it under different conditions

Background
The skeleton provides support and articulation for the body. Bones act as support
structures and joints function as pivot points. Skeletal, or striated, muscles are
connected to the bones either directly or by tendons, strong bundles of collagen
fibers.

Two or more muscles usually work antagonistically. In this arrangement, a


contraction of one muscle stretches, or elongates, the other (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Biceps/triceps - an example of two muscles working antagonistically.

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Skeletal muscle is composed of long, multinucleate cells called fibers grouped into
fascicles (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Skeletal muscle structure.

A single motor neuron, and all the muscle fibers that it innervates, is known as a motor
unit (Figure 3).

Figure 3. A motor unit.

An action potential in a motor neuron induces an action potential in the muscle fibers it
innervates by releasing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into the neuromuscular
junction. This muscle action potential causes a brief increase in the intracellular
concentration of calcium ions [Ca2+], and activates the contractile molecular machinery

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inside the fiber. This requires the use of intracellular supplies of adenosine triphosphate
(ATP) as the energy source. The result is a brief contraction called a twitch.

A whole muscle is controlled by the firing of up to hundreds of motor axons. These


motor nerves control movement in a variety of ways. One way in which the nervous
system controls a muscle is by adjusting the number of motor axons firing, thus
controlling the number of twitching muscle fibers. This process is called recruitment.
A second way the nervous system controls a muscle contraction is to vary the
frequency of action potentials in the motor axons. At stimulation intervals greater than
200 ms, intracellular [Ca2+] is restored to baseline levels between action potentials and
the contraction consists of separate twitches.

At stimulation intervals between 200 and 75 ms, [Ca2+] in the muscle is still above
baseline levels when the next action potential arrives. The muscle fiber therefore has
not completely relaxed and the next contraction is stronger than normal. This additive
effect is called summation.

At even higher stimulation frequencies, the muscle has no time to relax between
successive stimuli. The result is a smooth contraction many times stronger than a single
twitch: a tetanic contraction. The muscle is now in a state of tetanus.

When external nerve stimulation is applied, the volunteer will feel a brief pinch, a tingling
sensation, with a twitching of the muscle. It may feel similar to the static discharge you feel
when you rub your feet on the carpet and then touch a metal object. In our exercises, each
electrical pulse is very brief (less than a millisecond). The voltage of these electrical pulses is
not high enough to cause injury or permanent damage. There are no risks associated with these
small currents. Nothing is inserted into the skin, so there is no risk of infection.

In Exercise 1, you will observe muscle responses without recording them. In Exercises
2 to 4, you will use a transducer to measure forces generated by the adductor pollicis
muscle.

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In the last exercise, the grip force exerted by the hand is recorded with a grip force
transducer as you investigate the phenomenon of muscle fatigue.

Figure 4. Some muscles of the forearm and hand.

What you will do in the laboratory


You will complete five exercises:

1. Nerve stimulation. You will observe the effects of electrical stimuli on a student
volunteer using the nerves of the forearm.

2. Twitch response and recruitment. You will record and measure the muscular
twitch response to nerve stimulation, and demonstrate recruitment in the twitch
response as the stimulus strength increases.

3. Summation. You will measure the effects of changing the interval between paired
stimulus pulses.

4. Tetanus. You will induce and observe a short tetanic contraction in a student
volunteer.

5. Grip force and fatigue. You will calibrate a hand dynamometer and measure the
decline in maximal force during a sustained contraction.

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Equipment Setup
Caution!

Some exercises involve application of electrical shocks to muscle through electrodes placed on
the skin.

People who have cardiac pacemakers or who suffer from neurological or cardiac disorders
should not volunteer for such exercises.

If the volunteer feels major discomfort during the exercises, discontinue the exercise
immediately and consult your instructor.

Procedure

1. Make sure the PowerLab is connected and turned on.


2. Connect the Finger Pulse Transducer to Input 1 on the PowerLab.
3. Place the Finger Pulse Transducer diaphragm-side up on the top of the lab bench, and
tape the transducer in place along the Velcro strap.
4. Connect the Stimulating Bar Electrode to the isolated stimulator output of the PowerLab.

The Stimulating Bar Electrode connects to any PowerLab with a built in Isolated Simulator or
the Isolated Stimulator front end. It is used for the electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves.

When stimulating peripheral nerves it's important to orient the electrode appropriately. This
orientation will vary with model, so first identify which of the models you are using.

There are two different models of Stimulating Bar Electrodes;

The newer model is constructed from black plastic molding with a red dot on the rear
face, representing the positive electrode, at the end closest to the cables.
The older model (see image above) is constructed from white plastic with the equivalent
red dot at the opposite end to the cables.

The leads are color-coded. Plug the red lead into the red socket and the black lead into
the black socket.

5. Place a small amount of electrode cream on the two silver contacts of the stimulating bar.

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Exercise 1: Nerve Simulation
Explore the effects of electrical stimuli using the nerves of the forearm and a Stimulating Bar
Electrode.

Procedure

1. Check that the stimulator switch is off.


2. Place the Stimulating Bar Electrode over the volunteer's ulnar nerve at the wrist. The
Stimulating Bar Electrode should be held in place along the axis of the arm with the red
dot closest to the elbow.
3. In the Stimulator panel set current to 5 mA.
4. Click Start then set the stimulator switch to ON. The stimulator status light should now
flash green, indicating that the chosen stimulus current is being passed through the
subject's skin. If the light flashes yellow, current is not flowing properly.
5. Note the twitch contractions affecting the thumb and fingers. Examine the effect of small
adjustments in the position of the electrodes, and locate the position giving the largest
twitches. If no twitch occurs, increase the stimulus current.
6. Explore the motor and sensory results of stimulating at other places in the forearm. Each
time you move the electrode to another location, wipe away the residual electrode cream
from the skin to prevent short-circuiting. (Stimulation will be ineffective if the current
flows along a surface layer of electrode cream rather than through the arm.)

You will probably find that effective stimulation will only occur when the two pads of the
bar electrode are aligned along the arm's length. If the stimulus status light changes in color from
green to yellow, you will need to put more electrode cream on the pads.

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8. Try stimulating the ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow. The nerve passes behind a bony
prominence (the medial epicondyle) on the humerus. At this location, the nerve is
exposed to minor mechanical injury and is known to children as the "funny bone".
Stimulation at this site gives large and obvious motor effects.
9. Click Stop and turn the stimulator switch off.

Exercise 2
Record and measure the muscular twitch response to nerve stimulation, and investigate
recruitment as the stimulus strength increases.

Procedure
Finding the threshold

1. Have the volunteer place his or her hand as shown here, with the fingers under the edge
of the table and the edge of the thumb resting lightly on the pulse transducer. (If the table
edge is too thick for the subject's hand, a plank or shelf may have to be used.)

2. Wipe the electrode cream from the subject's wrist.


3. Apply a small amount of electrode cream to the pads of the stimulating bar electrode.
4. Make the subject hold the electrode with the free hand firmly in place at the site for
stimulation of the ulnar nerve at the wrist. Ensure that the edge of the subject's thumb is
resting lightly on the transducer.

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5. Ensure that the stimulus current is set to 1 mA.
6. Set the stimulator switch to ON.
7. Click Start.

LabTutor will stimulate, record for a fixed duration of 0.5 seconds and then stop
automatically.

8. Increase the stimulus current to 2.0 mA.


9. Click Start.
10. Continue to increase the stimulus current in 1 mA steps, clicking Start each time.

For most subjects, the threshold stimulus at which a response is first observed is in the range
3-8 mA.

11. When you first see a response, add a comment to the recording, noting the subject's name
and the stimulus current used.

Recruitment

12. Reduce the amplitude by 1 mA.


13. Click Start.
14. Increase the amplitude in 0.5 mA steps, clicking Start each time and adding a comment,
noting the current used.
15. Continue this until the response no longer increases.

For most subjects, this maximal stimulus is in the range 6-15 mA.

16. Turn the stimulator switch off.

Analysis
1. Locate the beginning of the recruitment recordings. Type into the first column of the
table the current delivered to produce each response.
2. Move the cursor over the waveform and click on the peak of each response to transfer its
value to the Value panel.
3. Drag the value to the appropriate cell in the table.

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As you enter the data, the Graph panel will graphically display the relationship between stimulus
current and response size.

Note the stimulus current at which the response no longer increases.This is called the 'maximal
stimulus'.

Exercise 3: Summation
Now stimulate with paired pulses, and investigate how varying the interval between the pulses
affects the response.

Use the same setup as in Exercise 2.

Procedure

1. Turn the Stimulator switch ON


2. In the Stimulator panel, set the current to 5 mA greater than the maximal stimulus you
determined in Exercise 2.

Be sure to use the proper value for the present subject!

3. Check that the stimulus interval is set to 1000 ms.


4. Click Start.

LabTutor will automatically deliver the stimulus and stop recording after a fixed duration of 3
seconds.

5. In the Stimulator panel decrease the stimulus interval to 500 ms, and click Start.
6. Repeat this for intervals 200 ms, 150 ms, 100 ms and 50 ms, noting the values in
comments as you did above.

When you have finished, turn the Stimulator switch OFF, ready for the next exercise.

Analysis
1. Place the Marker on the baseline and the Waveform Cursor on the Peak to determine the
peak amplitude of the first response.
2. Click on the peak to enter the force value into the Value panel.
3. Drag the value into the appropriate cell in the table.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 above for each response, at each stimulus interval.

Exercise 4
Examine the effect of rapid stimulation and observe a short tetanic contraction.

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Procedure

1. Ensure that the volunteer's hand and stimulus electrodes are placed as before, and turn the
stimulator switch ON.
2. Check that the stimulus interval is set to 50 ms. Set the number of pulses to 1.
3. Click Start.

LabTutor will automatically deliver the stimulus and stop recording after a fixed duration of 3
seconds.

4. Change the number of pulses to 2 and stimulate again.


5. Change the number of pulses to 3 and stimulate again.
6. If there was not too much discomfort, increase the number of pulses to 4 or 5 depending
on the comfort level of the subject.
7. Turn the stimulator switch OFF and disconnect the stimulating bar electrode and the
finger pulse transducer from the PowerLab.

Analysis
1. Place the Marker on the baseline and the Waveform Cursor on the Peak to determine the
peak amplitude.
2. Click on the peak to enter the force value into the Value panel.
3. Drag the value into the appropriate cell in the table.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 above for each response.

Grip Force Calibration


In the next exercise we investigate the decline in maximal force during a sustained contraction.
Be sure the same volunteer performs both the calibration and Exercise 5 to achieve accurate
results.

Make sure that you have removed the finger pulse transducer and the electrodes from the
PowerLab.

1. Connect the plug of the grip force transducer to the Input 1.


2. The volunteer should loosely grip the hand dynamometer in the fist, as shown here.
3. Click Start.
4. The volunteer should squeeze the dynamometer as hard as possible for a second or two,
and then relax.
5. Click Stop

Now, to calibrate for the strength of the volunteer:

6. Click the trace at a time when the force is effectively zero, then click the Point 1 button in
the Calibration panel. This will set the 0% grip force.

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7. Click the trace at peak force, and click the Point 2 button in the Calibration panel. This
represents 100% of the subject's grip force.
8. Click Apply.
9. Click Autoscale.

Exercise 5
Measure the decline in maximal force during a sustained contraction, and examine some
properties of muscular fatigue

The grip force transducer should already be calibrated for the volunteer, as described in the
previous page.

Procedure

1. Allow the volunteer to view the computer screen.


2. Click Start.
3. Ask the volunteer to maintain 25% maximal grip strength while watching the recorded
trace.
4. After 20 seconds, tell the volunteer to relax.
5. Click Stop.
6. Wait for 30 seconds to allow recovery of muscle function.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 for contractions of 50%, 75% and 100% of maximal grip strength.
8. Allow the volunteer to rest for two minutes.
9. Turn the volunteer away so that he or she cannot see the computer screen.
10. Click Start.
11. Ask the volunteer to produce a sustained maximal contraction.
12. After 8 to 10 seconds, or when the force has obviously declined, instruct them to try
harder.

Nearly all subjects can produce temporary increases in muscle force during a fatiguing
contraction, when sufficiently motivated by verbal encouragement.

13. After a further 8 to 10 seconds, repeat the encouragement.


14. A few seconds later, ask the volunteer to relax.
15. Click Stop.
16. Click Start.
17. Ask the volunteer to produce a sustained maximal contraction. Every 8 to 10 seconds,
allow the volunteer to relax very briefly (half a second), and then return to maximal
contraction.
18. After 30 to 40 seconds click Stop.
19. Allow the volunteer to use his or her other hand if gripping the transducer has become
painful. Turn the volunteer so that they can see the computer screen.
20. Click Start.
21. Ask the volunteer to produce a 50% contraction while watching the trace.
22. After 10 seconds, press the Enter key to enter a comment (to mark the time).

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23. Have the volunteer close his or her eyes, and attempt to maintain exactly the same
contraction force for the next 30 seconds.

Almost all subjects will show a declining force (pseudo-fatigue) while their eyes are shut,
that is very similar to fatigue. This is, however, not true fatigue, because the full 50%
force can be exerted easily, as can be seen when the subject's eyes are opened again.

24. After the elapsed time, the volunteer should open their eyes, and adjust the contraction
force back to 50%.
25. Click Stop.
26. Examine the trace.

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