The Baroreflex Mechanism Revisited

A. Rabinovitch, M. Friedman, D. Braunstein, Y. Biton, I. Aviram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We state that the autonomic part of the brain controls the blood pressure (BP) and the heart rate (HR) via the baroreflex mechanism in all situations of human activity (at sleep, at rest, during exercise, fright etc.), in a way which is not, as was hitherto assumed, a mere homeostatic tool or even a resetting device, designed to bring these variables on the road to preset values. The baroreflex is rather a continuous feedback mechanism commanded by the autonomic part of the brain, leading to values appropriate to the situation at hand. Feasibility of this assertion is demonstrated here by using the Seidel–Herzel feedback system outside of its regular practice. Results show indeed that the brain can, and we claim that it does, control the HR and BP throughout life. New responses are demonstrated, e.g., to a sudden fear or apnea. In this event, large BP and HR overshoots are expected before the variables can relax to a new level. Response to abrupt downward change in the controlling parameter shows an undershoot in HR and just a gradual resetting in the BP. The relaxation from sudden external changes to various expected states are calculated and discussed and properties of the Rheos test are explained. Experimental findings for orthostatic tests and for babies under translations and rotations reveal complete qualitative agreement with our model and show no need to invoke the operation of additional body systems. Our method should be the preferred one by the Occam Razor approach. The outcomes may lead to beneficial clinical implication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1538
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2015


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Baroreflex
  • Blood pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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