Blaine Ditto

Academic title(s): 

Department Chair


Contact Information:


Office: 2001 McGill College, 1577
Phone: 514.398.6097
Email: blaine[at]


Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
2001 McGill College, 7th floor
Montreal, QC
H3A 1G1


Blaine Ditto

Research Areas:

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology

Research Summary:

Prof. Ditto’s research focuses on stress-related increases and decreases in blood pressure, their psychological and autonomic causes, and effects on health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and vasovagal reactions. One area of particular interest is vasovagal reactions to blood donation as they are strongly related to fear, have an important influence on the medical system by affecting blood supplies, and are theoretically important in showing that stress can lead to large decreases as well as increases in blood pressure.

Selected References:

Harrison, J.M., Gilchrist, P.T., Corovic, T., Bogetti, C., Song, Y., Bacon, S.L., & Ditto, B. (2017). Respiratory and hemodynamic contributions to emotion-related vasovagal symptoms. Biological Psychology, 127, 46-52.

Balegh, S., Marcus, N., Dubuc, S., Godin, G., France, C.R., & Ditto, B. (2016). Increasing non-donors’ intention to give blood: addressing common barriers. Transfusion, 56, 433-439.

Pelletier, R., Ditto, B., & Pilote, L. (2015). A composite measure of gender and its association with risk factors in patients with premature acute coronary syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine, 77, 517-526.

Ditto, B., Byrne, N., Holly, C., Balegh, S. (2014). Social contagion of vasovagal reactions in the blood collection clinic:  a possible example of mass psychogenic illness. Health Psychology, 33, 639-645.

Campbell, T.S., Séguin, J.R., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R.E., & Ditto, B. (2013). Childhood socioeconomic position is associated with blood pressure dipping in early adulthood: a longitudinal study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46, 227-231.

Ditto, B., Balegh, S., Gilchrist, P.T., & Holly, C.D. (2012). Relation between perceived blood loss and vasovagal symptoms in blood donors. Clinical Autonomic Research, 22, 113-116.

Gordon, J.L., Ditto, B., Lavoie, K.L., Pelletier, R., Campbell, T.S., Arsenault, A., & Bacon, S.L. (2011). The effect of major depression on post-exercise cardiovascular recovery. Psychophysiology, 48, 1605-1610.

Ditto, B., Lavoie, K.L., Campbell, T.S., Gordon, J., Arsenault, A., & Bacon, S.L. (2010). Negative association between resting blood pressure and chest pain in people undergoing exercise stress testing for coronary artery disease. Pain, 149, 501-505.

Ditto, B., France, C.R., Albert, M., Byrne, N., & Smyth-Laporte, J. (2009). Effects of applied muscle tension on the likelihood of blood donor return. Transfusion, 49, 858-862.

Lewkowski, M.D., Young, S.N., Ghosh, S., & Ditto, B. (2008). Effects of opioid blockade on the modulation of pain and mood by sweet taste and blood pressure in young adults. Pain, 135, 75-81.

Ditto, B., France, C.R., Albert, M., & Byrne, N. (2007). Dismantling Applied Tension: mechanisms of a treatment to reduce blood donation-related symptoms. Transfusion, 47, 2217-2222.

Ditto, B., Eclache, M., & Goldman, N. (2006). Short-term autonomic and cardiovascular effects of mindfulness body scan meditation. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 227-234.

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