Only time will tell: Acute stress response patterns with time series analysis

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Stress has long attracted attention in psychophysiological research, due to its effects on physiology that are measurable and well documented. Acute stress is often conceptualized as a response pattern that activates the fight-or-flight response via the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). However, other stress response patterns can manifest as well, such as parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) shutdown, and SNS-PNS coactive hypervigilance. Each response pattern engages many dimensions, including physiological, emotional, and behavioral. Additionally, as stress unfolds over time, these patterns can change to adjust to the changing nature of the stressor. This proof of concept study introduces novel methodology to track the patterns and multidimensional manifestations of stress. Virtual reality (VR) was used to induce a dynamic range of stress responses. The defense cascade provides a model with which to understand and predict response patterns over the time course of an acute stressor.



Acute stress, Autonomic space, Cardiac autonomic balance, Defense cascade, Stress response patterns, Time series analysis, Virtual reality, Experimental Psychology, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences