Science for Education Today, 2021, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 107–127

The impact of students’ individual vegetative status on their psychophysiological adaptation to the learning environment: the effectiveness of RSA-BFB therapy

Zarchenko P. Y. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Varich L. A. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Kazin E. M. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation)
1 Kemerovo State University

Introduction. The article summarizes the results of studying the process of students’ adaptation to the learning environment in a wide range of degree programmes provided by higher educational institutions. The purpose of the article is to identify the characteristic features of students’ psychophysiological adaptation to the learning environment, taking into account the peculiarities of autonomic regulation, with the subsequent assessment of the effectiveness of using RSA-BFB therapy.
Materials and Methods. The study involved 209 second-year medical and biological students. The study of neurodynamic characteristics was carried out using an automated psychophysiological complex. Heart rate variability indicators were evaluated by means of cardiorhythmography. The authors conducted a comparative analysis of the mean values and identified the correlation between neurodynamic characteristics and indicators of heart rate variability of students doing academic degrees in various fields. RSA-BFB therapy was used to increase students’ adaptive capabilities.
Results. The characteristic features of adaptive reactions were revealed depending on the initial vegetative tone and the type of functional response. The combination of psychophysiological and medico-biological constitutional approaches used in the work enabled the authors to expand and clarify the ideas about the mechanism of the functional self-regulation system and classify the types of adaptive reactions in the process of educational: adaptive, compensatory and maladaptive. After the RSA-BFB therapy for students prone to maladaptive reactions, in comparison with the control group, there was an improvement in the strength of the nervous system and the mobility of nervous processes. Using RSA-BFB therapy contributed to overcoming chronic stress and developing reaction patterns inherent in adaptive types.
Conclusions. The use of RSA-biofeedback therapy, taking into account the individual-typological characteristics, has contributed to balancing ergotropic and trophotropic processes, restoring the body's functional reserves and improving the efficiency of adaptation to learning environment.


Students of medical and biological degree programmes; Adaptation to educational environment; Neurodynamic indicators; heart rate indicators; Autonomic regulation; Type of functional response; Biofeedback; RSA-biofeedback.


For citation:
Zarchenko P. Y., Varich L. A., Kazin E. M. The impact of students’ individual vegetative status on their psychophysiological adaptation to the learning environment: the effectiveness of RSA-BFB therapy. Science for Education Today, 2021, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 107–127. DOI:
  1. Baevskij R. M., Ivanov G. G., CHirejkin L. V., Gavrilushkin A. P., Dovgalevskij P. Ya., Kukushkin Yu. A., Mironova T. F., Priluckij D. A., Semenov A. V., Fedorov V. F., Flejshman A. N., Medvedev M. M. Analysis of heart rate variability when using various electrocardiographic systems. Journal of Arrhythmology, 2002, no. 24, pp. 65–86. (In Russian) URL: 
  2. Belozerova L. A., Bragina E. A., Semikasheva I. A., Silakova M. M. University athletes’ stress tolerance and conscious self-control: Questionnaire survey. Theory and Practice of Physical Culture, 2021, no. 2, pp. 19–21. (In Russian) URL: 
  3. Galeev A. R. Igisheva L. N., Kazin E. M. Healthy children from 6 to 16 years'' heart rate variability. Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, series "Medicine", 2002, no. 3, pp. 35–40. (In Russian) URL:   
  4. Zarchenko P. Yu., Kazin E. M., Blinova N. G. Varich L. A., Vasilchenko I. L. Implementation of RSA-biofeedback therapy in students with various types of vegetative cardritm regulation in the process of adaptation to educational activity. Human Physiology, 2020, vol. 46 (6), pp. 663–670. DOI:  URL:
  5. Ivanov V. I., Litvinova N. A., Berezina M. G. Automated complex for assessing the individual-typological properties and functional state of the human body "PF Status". Valeology, 2004, no. 4, pp. 70–73. (In Russian) URL:  
  6. Ignatova Yu. P., Makarov I. I., Aksenova A. V. Psychophysiological and some functional markers of mental workload in young men. Human Physiology, 2018, vol. 44 (4), pp. 26–31. (In Russian) DOI: URL:
  7. Krivoshchyokov S. G., Belisheva N. K., Nikolaeva E. I., Vergunov E. G., Martynova A. A., El'nikova O. E., Pryanichnikov S. V., Anufriev G. N., Balioz N. V. The concept of allostasis and human adaptation in the north. Human Ecology, 2016, no. 7, pp. 17–25. (In Russian) DOI:  URL:
  8. Radyshevskaja T. N., Starikova I. V., Piterskaja N. V. Analysis of indices of autonomic nervous regulation and system hemodynamics in students at various stages of adaptation to the educational process. Journal of Volgograd State Medical University, 2020, no. 1, pp. 102–105. (In Russian) DOI: URL:
  9. Fleishman A. N. Heart rate variability and slow hemodynamic oscillations: Nonlinear phenomena in clinical practice. News of higher educational institutions. Applied nonlinear dynamics, 2011, vol. 19 (3), pp. 179–183. (In Russian) URL:

10. Rojo López A. M., Foulquié-Rubio A.-I., Espín López L., Martínez Sánchez F. Analysis of speech rhythm and heart rate as indicators of stress on student interpreters. Perspectives, 2021, vol. 29 (4), pp. 591–607. DOI: 

11. Bashkireva A. V., Bashkireva T. V., Severin A. E. Heart rate variability in the diagnosis of the health of participants in the educational. Atlantis Press Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, 2020,vol. 114, pp. 269–271. DOI: 

12. Bergman C., Muth T., Loerbroks A. Medical students’ perceptions of stress due to academic studies and its interrelationships with other domains of life: A qualitative study. Medical Education Online, 2019, vol. 24 (1), pp. 1603526. DOI:

13. Capdevila L., Parrado E., Ramos-Castro J., Zapata-Lamana R., Lalanza J. F. Resonance frequency is not always stable over time and could be related to the inter-beat interval. Scientific Reports, 2021, vol. 11 (1), pp. 8400. , DOI:   

14. Frazier P., Gabriel A., Merians A., Lust K. Understanding stress as an impediment to academic performance. Journal of American College Health, 2018, vol. 67 (6), pp. 562–570. DOI:  

15. Lehrer P., Kaur K., Sharma A., Shah K., Huseby R., Bhavsar J., Zhang Y. Heart rate variability biofeedback improves emotional and physical health and performance: A systematic review and meta analysis. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2020, vol. 45 (3), pp. 109–129. DOI:

16. Kim H.-G., Cheon E.-J., Bai D.-S., Lee Y. H., Koo B.-H. Stress and heart rate variability: A meta-analysis and review of the literature. Psychiatry Investigation, 2018, vol. 15 (3), pp. 235–245. DOI:

17. Lim H. J., Chung S. S., Joung K. H. Factors of depressive symptoms among elementary, middle, and high school students. Arcive of Psychiatric Nursing, 2016, vol. 30 (3), pp. 302–308. DOI:  

18. Mutambudzi M., Theorell T., Li. J. Job strain and long-term sickness absence from work – a ten-year prospective study in German working population. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2019, vol. 61 (4), pp. 278–284. DOI:

19. Nakayama N., Arakawa N., Ejiri H., Matsuda R., Makino T. Heart rate variability can clarify students' level of stress during nursing simulation. PLoS One, 2018, vol. 13 (4), pp. 0195280. DOI:

20. O’Connor, D. B., Thayer, J. F., Vedhara K. Stress and health: A review of psychobiological processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 2021, vol. 72 (1), pp. 663–688. DOI:

21. Patron E., Munafò M., Messerotti Benvenuti S., Stegagno L., Palomba D. Not all competitions come to harm! Competitive biofeedback to increase respiratory sinus arrhythmia in managers. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2020, vol. 14, pp. 855. DOI:

22. Shaffer F., Ginsberg J. P. An overview of heart rate variability metrics and norms. Frontiers in Public Health, 2017, no. 5, pp. 258. DOI:

23. Taghizadeh N., Eslaminejad A., Raoufy M. R. Protectiv effect of heart rate variability biofeedback on stress-induced lung function impairment in asthma. Respiratory Physioogy and Neurobiology, 2019, vol. 262, pp. 49–56. DOI:

24. Yu Bin, Mathias F., Hu Jun, Wang Qi, Feijs Loe Biofeedback for everyday stress Management: A systematic review. Frontiers in ICT, 2018, no. 5, pp. 23. DOI:

25. Zaccaro A., Piarulli A., Laurino M., Garbella E., Menicuccu D., Neri B., Gemiganani A. How breath-control can change your life: A systematic review on psycho-physiological correlates of slow breathing. Frontlines in Human Neuroscience, 2018, vol. 12, pp. 353. DOI:   

Date of the publication 31.10.2021