Microcomputer Servo‐controlled Bicycle Ergometer System for Psychophysiological Research

Arthur R. Laperriere, David H. Van Dercar, Liang Yu Shyu, Michael F. Ward, Philip M. McCabe, Arlette C. Perry, Patricia E. Mosher, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Steady state exercise is widely used for psychophysiological studies in which a constant heart rate at a predetermined level is desired. We have developed a microcomputer servo-controlled bicycle ergometer system that can be used for administering steady state exercise. Fourteen healthy male subjects, with a wide range of fitness levels (measured by V̇O(2max)) were exercised to either a fixed workload (130 watts) or a predetermined heart rate level (servo-heart rate) of 122 bpm (i.e., 65% of maximum calculated heart rate for the sample). Servo-heart rate was implemented using a feedback loop that automatically adjusted workload to compensate for immediate variations in heart rate, resulting in a more consistent heart rate. Heart rate varied from the predetermined value by 17 bpm during fixed workload but only 3 bpm during servo-heart rate (p < .05). Therefore, by using the microcomputer servo-controlled bicycle ergometer, heart rate was maintained at a predetermined level regardless of the subject's fitness level. V̇O(2max) and workload during servo-heart rate were significantly correlated (r = .85, p < .05). Therefore, the workload necessary to maintain heart rate at a constant level may provide an approximate index of aerobic fitness level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Bicycle ergometer
  • Exercise.
  • Heart rate
  • Microcomputer automated

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Microcomputer Servo‐controlled Bicycle Ergometer System for Psychophysiological Research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this