Graham and Clifton (1966) proposed an integration of Sokolov's theory of orienting and defensive reflexes with the stimulus intake/rejection dichotomy of the Laceys. This integration consisted of hypothesizing that heart rate deceleration is a measure of the orienting reflex, and that cardiac acceleration is a measure of the defensive reflex. This article demonstrates that Graham and Clifton failed to establish a valid integration of these two theories. This failure is a consequence of 1) their misconstruing Sokolov's theory, and 2) an inaccurate and selective review of the research literature then available. Consideration of more recent research would seem to rule out the possibility that their thesis was correct in spite of these flaws in its derivation. Cardiac responding in the OR context thus remains open to further investigation and interpretation. © 1985 Springer-Verlag.