Devices, systems and methods by which the blood pressure, nervous system activity, and neurohormonal activity may be selectively and controllably reduced by activating baroreceptors. By selectively and controllably activating baroreceptors, the present invention reduces excessive blood pressure, sympathetic nervous system activity and neurohormonal activity, thereby minimizing their deleterious effects on the heart, vasculature and other organs and tissues. A baroreceptor activation device is positioned near a baroreceptor, preferably in the carotid sinus and/or the aortic arch. The baroreceptor activation device may comprise a wide variety of devices which utilize mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical or biological means to activate the baroreceptor. A control system may be used to generate a control signal to modulate the baroreceptor activation device. A sensor may be used to generate a signal indicative of cardiovascular function or other organ system function, and the control signal may be made a function of the sensor signal. The control system may include a processor and a memory, wherein the memory includes software containing an algorithm defining a relationship between the control signal and the sensor signal. The present invention also provides devices, systems and methods to selectively and controllably increase blood pressure, nervous system activity, and neurohormonal activity by inhibiting/dampening baroreceptor signals.