A model which assesses the closed-loop interaction between heart period (HP) and arterial pressure (AP) variabilities and the influence of respiration on both is applied to evaluate the sources of low frequency (LF approximately 0.1 Hz) and high frequency (HF, respiratory rate approximately 0.25 Hz) in conscious dogs (n = 18) and humans (n = 5). A resonance of AP closed-loop regulation is found to amplify LF oscillations. In dogs, the resonance gain increases slightly during baroreceptor unloading (mild hypotension obtained with nitroglycerine (NTG) i.v. infusion, n = 8) and coronary artery occlusion ((CAO), n = 6), and it is abolished by ganglionic transmission blockade ((ARF), Arfonad i.v. infusion, n = 3). In humans, this gain is considerably increased by passive tilt. Different, possibly central, sources of LF oscillations are also evaluated, finding a strong rhythmic modulation of HP during CAO. At HF, a direct respiratory arrhythmia is dominant in dogs at control, while it is considerably reduced during CAO. On the contrary, in humans, a strong influence of respiration on AP is shown which induces a reflex respiratory arrhythmia. An index of the gain of baroreceptive response, alpha cl, was decreased by NTG and CAO, and virtually abolished by chronic arterial baroreceptive denervation (TABD, n = 4) and ARF.