About the book
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is integrated almost in all system in human body. It plays a vital role not only for the homeostasis of the organism, but also for the reaction rate and extent to stimuli. Thus, monitoring ANS, is crucial for understanding disease progress. Various methods had been applied for this purpose. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) - a term introduced for the interval between R waves in the electrocardiogram (i.e. variability in beat-by-beat heart period)-Hormonal biomarkers (epinephrine, cortisol, norepinephrine) , infrared digital pupillometry, salivary a- amylase, electrodermal activity recording, functional nervous system imaging are only some the methods reported. Every marker is considered a complex reflection of the sympathetic-parasympathetic system balance activation (autonomic outflow), neuroendocrine influences and the ability of the human system network to respond to the former factors (autonomic responsiveness). They are probably more than an indicator for probable disturbances in the autonomous system. They can serve a surrogate index both for the objective wellbeing (homeostasis and health status) and for subjective wellbeing (emotional and psychological health). Increasing data support its use for monitoring both somatic and psychological disorders and diseases. Moreover, newer studies provide us an insight into the physiology of consciousness and raise our understanding of several psychological and physiological processes, like neuroendocrine habituation or emotional regulation.
Within this frame, the current book, published by InTech Open, will aim at providing the reader an update on ANS monitoring and its role in health, both physical and emotional.