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... Many research domains have identified and studied mental stress as a crucial factor of influence or consequence: for example mental stress may affect performance [1] or social interaction [2][3][4], may cause or be a consequence of pathologies [5][6][7][8][9][10][11]; it is also studied when combined with tiredness [12] or related to sleepiness [13,14]. Different kinds of mental stress were identified, mainly chronic stress [15,16] and short term stress (or acute stress) [16][17][18][19]. ...
... These criteria were necessary to ensure the homogeneity of data as done by others (see for example [3]). ...
... Yet this model has limits which reduce its domain of application. The first limits are given by the conditions for which it was set up; they are listed in section 2. Some of the limits were confirmed during the validation phase of the model: actually, the model applies for healthy adults; when subjects with disease are taken into account (for example mental pathologies like social anxiety disorder [3], panic disorder [32] or pathological disease like diabetes [46]), the model does not apply: data shows another trend to that of the curve. The model does not also apply when the stress process is disturbed: for example, Goodie et al. [47] presented subjects under stressful conditions, some of the subjects having a lower level of stress due to an instant feedback of their stress state; data related to these latter subjects with feedback did not match the model. ...
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Heart rate variation (HR) being identified as depending on subjects’ stress state when submitted to short term mental stress, this study aimed at analyzing whether or not it could be possible to find a mathematical relationship between the average heart rate variation and the intensity S of a stress indicator in case of short term mental stress, whatever the stress indicator is. The method consisted in working the hypothesis by gathering data providing HR and ratio of frequency power of HRV (Heart Rate Variability) for different level of stress, HRV being considered as a stress indicator and presenting the advantage of being widely used in studies, therefore providing numerous data in the literature. From this data, a mathematical model was designed and then assessed by testing its reliability when applied to HR variation versus different types of stress indicators (EMG, GSR, Work Load, questionnaires such as STAI-S, ALES). The correlation obtained between the model and the data provided by the literature (24 points from 8 studies gathering 272 subjects) gave r=.95 (p<.0001) which allowed us to validate the model. Limits of the model were identified and discussed.
... High TCVT is related to better coping in stressful conditions (Brosschot et al., 2007) and influences the level of efficacious adaptation to short-term demands (Appelhans and Luecken, 2006;Lane et al., 2013;Porges, 1991;Lane, 2000, 2009;Park et al., 2014). High TCVT is associated with higher dynamic capacity of vagal tone to respond to a stress condition (PCVT reactivity) which is represented by more vagal withdrawal under stress in adults (Aldao and Mennin, 2012;Gaebler et al., 2013;Park et al., 2014). TCVT is further positively related to PCVT recovery. ...
... To our knowledge, there are only two studies who have focused on this relationship of TCVT and PCVT dynamics. McLaughlin et al. (2014) investigated adolescents and found that high vagal tone at baseline was related to high vagal recovery corresponding with the idea of higher dynamic capacities in high TCVT of adults (Aldao and Mennin, 2012;Gaebler et al., 2013;Park et al., 2014). In contrast, high TCVT was related to less stress reactivity in children aged 4-7 years (Santucci et al., 2008), which is in contrast to expectations. ...
... We aimed to investigate the potential impact of TCVT on PCVT dynamics as this had been found in adults in previous work (Aldao and Mennin, 2012;Gaebler et al., 2013;Park et al., 2014). We found that even in children at preschool age of 2-6 years, TCVT influenced PCVT reactivity and PCVT early recovery, but not late PCVT recovery. ...
Article
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Introduction Cardiac vagal tone has been understood as the biological correlate of emotion regulation and can be divided into emotion regulation (tonic cardiac vagal tone (TCVT)) and the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions (phasic cardiac vagal tone (PCVT)). There is evidence that TCVT influences PCVT dynamics in adults and that stress exposure impacts on cardiac vagal tone in adults and older children. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of TCVT on PCVT dynamics in preschoolers and to identify the influence of stress exposures on cardiac vagal tone. Method Measures of heart rate variability including baseline (TCVT), during an age-adapted stress task (PCVT stress reactivity) and during recovery (PCVT recovery) were assessed in 222 children aged 2–6 years of the SPLASHY study. Further, parents were asked to complete questionnaires on early stress exposure (including pregnancy, birth and early life) and current stress exposure (including family stress and parenting). Results Preschool children with high TCVT showed less PCVT reactivity (p < 0.001) and more increase of vagal tone (PCVT) during early recovery (p = 0.016). Further only child's low birth weight was a relevant stress exposure impacting on early and late PCVT recovery (p = 0.03/p = 0.005). None of the other early or late stress exposure conditions, nor the accumulation of stress exposures influenced TCVT or PCVT dynamics in these healthy preschoolers. Discussion TCVT impacts on PCVT dynamics in a lab-based stress task in healthy preschool children and only low birth weight is related to more change during early and to less late PCVT recovery.
... Indeed, resting vmHRV is closely related to the effective engagement of prefrontal-subcortical inhibitory circuits implicated in the self-regulatory effort of emotional and cognitive processes 37-39 . Empirical evidence suggests that individuals with high resting vmHRV are more efficient in regulating both emotional and cognitive processes during simulation and interpretation of the respective states 40-44 , moreover, irrespectively from the resting vmHRV level, emotion suppression and reappraisal have been associated with vmHRV enhancement 43,[45][46][47] . In spite of the well-documented link between vmHRV and cognitive and emotion regulation, only a few studies have investigated the association between vmHRV and the empathy for pain 48-50 , however, to date it has never been explored whether the vmHRV responses detected during empathic conditions can be moderated by social factors such as the in-group/out-group dichotomy. ...
... Participants and behavioral scales. Male and female participants were matched both for age [t (46) = 0.218, p = 0.8283; see Table 1] and, for the Body Mass Index [t (46) = 1.893, p = 0.0646; see Table 1]. A series of further Student's t-test also revealed no differences between male and female participants in Resting Root Mean square of Successive Differences -RMMSD [t (46) = 0.261, p = 0.7949; see Table 1], Resting natural Log transformed High-Frequency power -Log-HF-HRV [t (46) = 0.377, p = 0.7079; see Table 1], Resting High-Frequency power normalized units -HF-HRV n.u [t (46) = 0.276, p = 0.7837; see Table 1], Resting peak High-Frequency values -pHF-HRV [t (46) = 1.144, p = 0.2585; see Table 1] and Symphatovagal balance Index -SVI [t (46) = 0.223, p = 0.8227; see Table 1]. ...
... Participants and behavioral scales. Male and female participants were matched both for age [t (46) = 0.218, p = 0.8283; see Table 1] and, for the Body Mass Index [t (46) = 1.893, p = 0.0646; see Table 1]. A series of further Student's t-test also revealed no differences between male and female participants in Resting Root Mean square of Successive Differences -RMMSD [t (46) = 0.261, p = 0.7949; see Table 1], Resting natural Log transformed High-Frequency power -Log-HF-HRV [t (46) = 0.377, p = 0.7079; see Table 1], Resting High-Frequency power normalized units -HF-HRV n.u [t (46) = 0.276, p = 0.7837; see Table 1], Resting peak High-Frequency values -pHF-HRV [t (46) = 1.144, p = 0.2585; see Table 1] and Symphatovagal balance Index -SVI [t (46) = 0.223, p = 0.8227; see Table 1]. ...
Article
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In this study, we explored vagally-mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) responses, a psychophysiological index of cognitive self-regulatory control, to map the dynamics associated with empathic responses for pain towards an out-group member. Accordingly, Caucasian participants were asked to judge the experience of African and Caucasian actors touched with either a neutral or a harmful stimulus. Results showed that (1) explicit judgment of pain intensity in African actors yielded higher rating score and (2) took longer time compared to Caucasian actors, (3) these behavioural outcomes were associated with a significant increment of RMSSD, Log-HF-HRV and HF-HRV n.u., (4) resting HF-HRV n.u. predicted the participants’ lag-time to judge painful stimulations delivered to African actors. Interestingly, these dynamics were associated with a measure of implicit racial attitudes and were, in part, abolished when participants performed a concurrent task during videos presentation. Taken together our results support the idea that a cognitive effort is needed to self-regulate our implicit attitude as predicted by the ‘Contrasting Forces Model’.
... A complex and constantly changing heart rate (HR) is an indicator of healthy regulatory systems that can effectively adapt to sudden environmental and psychological challenges [1][2][3][4][5]. Thus, reduced heart rate variability (HRV) has not only been associated with poor cardiovascular health outcomes [6][7][8] and a range of vascular diseases [4,9,10], but also with different mental disorders and cognitive impairments [8,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. ...
... The model has gained ample support over the past decades as mounting evidence emerges, showing a significant relationship between HRV and prefrontal cortex activity [105][106][107][108]. This is in line with studies investigating the relationship between HRV and executive functioning, showing that participants with higher resting HRV (particularly short-term changes) performed better at different executive tasks, such as sustained attention [109,110], working memory [111,112] inhibition [106,[113][114][115], and cognitive flexibility [16,116,117]. Additionally, Hansen et al. [111] also highlighted the executive-specific advantage of higher vagally-mediated resting HRV which was not observed in non-executive tasks based on simple reaction time. ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of heart rate variability (HRV) in research has been greatly popularized over the past decades due to the ease and affordability of HRV collection, coupled with its clinical relevance and significant relationships with psychophysiological constructs and psychopathological disorders. Despite the wide use of electrocardiograms (ECG) in research and advancements in sensor technology, the analytical approach and steps applied to obtain HRV measures can be seen as complex. Thus, this poses a challenge to users who may not have the adequate background knowledge to obtain the HRV indices reliably. To maximize the impact of HRV-related research and its reproducibility, parallel advances in users' understanding of the indices and the standardization of analysis pipelines in its utility will be crucial. This paper addresses this gap and aims to provide an overview of the most up-to-date and commonly used HRV indices, as well as common research areas in which these indices have proven to be very useful, particularly in psychology. In addition, we also provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform HRV analysis using an integrative neurophysiological toolkit, NeuroKit2.
... So far, only three studies have investigated the link between vmHRV and cognitive flexibility (Zahn, Adams, et al., 2016). However, the three identified studies used a stochastic reversal learning task (Ohira et al., 2013), emotion regulation after mood induction (Volokhov & Demaree, 2010), and problem solving (as assessed by the Trail-making test, Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013) to assess cognitive flexibility. Using a stochastic reversal learning task, no behavioral relationship with vmHRV (as indexed by HF) was found (Ohira et al., 2013). ...
... Zahn, Adams, et al. (2016) classified reappraisal after mood induction as cognitive flexibility, because reappraisal indicates a shift from the induced negative mood towards a more positive way of thinking. Lastly, patients suffering from social anxiety disorder showed a negative correlation between performance on the Trail-Making Test (part B) and vmHRV, indicating better flexibility for individuals displaying higher HF scores (Gaebler et al., 2013). Because these studies did not use reliable, process-pure measures of cognitive flexibility and employed different measures of vmHRV, further investigation is warranted. ...
Article
Full-text available
The neurovisceral integration model proposes that heart rate variability (HRV) is linked to prefrontal cortex activity via the vagus nerve, which connects the heart and the brain. HRV, an index of cardiac vagal tone, has been found to predict performance on several cognitive control tasks that rely on the prefrontal cortex. However, the link between HRV and the core cognitive control function “shifting” between tasks and mental sets is under-investigated. Therefore, the present study tested the neurovisceral integration model by examining, in 90 participants, the relationship between vagally mediated resting-state HRV and performance in a task-switching paradigm that provides a relatively process-pure measure of cognitive flexibility. As predicted, participants with higher resting-state HRV (indexed both by time domain and frequency domain measures) showed smaller switch costs (i.e., greater flexibility) than individuals with lower resting-state HRV. Our findings support the neurovisceral integration model and indicate that higher levels of vagally mediated resting-state HRV promote cognitive flexibility.
... From the initial pool of potentially eligible studies, we retained 32 studies for quantitative syntheses (Aimie-Salleh et al., 2019; Ardizzi et al., 2016;Buisman et al., 2019;Cȃrnuţȃ et al., 2015;Dale et al., 2018;Dileo et al., 2017;Duprey et al., 2019;Gaebler et al., 2013;Giuliano et al., 2018;Gordis et al., 2010;Goulter et al., 2019;Hagan et al., 2017;Herzog et al., 2018;Jin et al., 2018;Lovallo et al., 2012;Lunkenheimer et al., 2018;Lynch et al., 2015;McLaughlin et al., 2014;Meyer et al., 2016;Miskovic et al., 2009;Murray-Close and Rellini, 2012;Oshri et al., 2018;Patriquin et al., 2012;Reijman et al., 2014;Shenk et al., 2010Shenk et al., , 2012Stone et al., 2018;Tell et al., 2018;Thome et al., 2017;Waldron et al., 2015). ...
... Of the studies included in group comparison meta-analysis, 14 had explicitly recruited an ELM-exposed and a non-exposed but otherwise similar control group and resting-state HRV data for both groups were provided in respective published papers (Ardizzi et al., 2016;Dale et al., 2018;Dileo et al., 2017;Gordis et al., 2010;Goulter et al., 2019;Miskovic et al., 2009;Patriquin et al., 2012;Shenk et al., 2012;Stone et al., 2018), or upon request (Giuliano et al., 2018;Lynch et al., 2015;Murray-Close and Rellini, 2012;Shenk et al., 2010). The authors of the 11 remaining studies included in comparative meta-analysis responded to our request to re-allocate their samples into an ELM-exposed and a non-exposed control group and to provide respective summary resting-state HRV data for each group (Jin et al., 2018;Lovallo et al., 2012;Lunkenheimer et al., 2018;McLaughlin et al., 2014;Oshri et al., 2018;Reijman et al., 2014;Thome et al., 2017) or provided raw data (Aimie-Salleh et al., 2019; Gaebler et al., 2013;Meyer et al., 2016). ...
Article
Recent focus on the consequences of early life adversity (ELA) in neurobiological research led to a variety of findings suggesting alterations in several physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we focused on the relationship between early life maltreatment (ELM), one form of ELA, and resting vagal activity indexed by resting-state heart rate variability (HRV). A systematic search of the literature yielded 1′264 hits, of which 32 studies reporting data for group comparisons or correlations were included. By quantitative synthesis of existing studies using random-effect models, we found no evidence for a relationship between ELM exposure and resting vagal activity in principal. Conducting meta-regression analyses, however, we found the relationship between ELM and resting vagal activity to significantly vary as a function of both age and the presence of psychopathology. In light of the current multitude of vastly unclear pathways linking ELM to the onset of disease, we emphasize the need for further research and outline several aspects to consider in future studies.
... A complex and constantly changing heart rate (HR) is an indicator of healthy regulatory systems that can effectively adapt to sudden environmental and psychological challenges [1][2][3][4][5]. Thus, reduced heart rate variability (HRV) has not only been associated with poor cardiovascular health outcomes [6][7][8] and a range of vascular diseases [4,9,10], but also with different mental disorders and cognitive impairments [8,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. ...
... The model has gained ample support over the past decades as mounting evidence emerges, showing a significant relationship between HRV and prefrontal cortex activity [105][106][107][108]. This is in line with studies investigating the relationship between HRV and executive functioning, showing that participants with higher resting HRV (particularly short-term changes) performed better at different executive tasks, such as sustained attention [109,110], working memory [111,112] inhibition [106,[113][114][115], and cognitive flexibility [16,116,117]. Additionally, Hansen et al. [111] also highlighted the executive-specific advantage of higher vagally-mediated resting HRV which was not observed in non-executive tasks based on simple reaction time. ...
Preprint
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The use of heart rate variability (HRV) in research has been greatly popularized over the past decades due to the ease and affordability of HRV collection, coupled with its clinical relevance and significant relationships with psychophysiological constructs and psychopathological disorders. Despite the wide use of electrocardiogram (ECG) in research and advancement in sensors technology, the analytical approach and steps applied to obtain HRV measures can be seen as complex. Thus, posing a challenge to users who may not have the adequate background knowledge to obtain the HRV indices reliably. To maximize the impact of HRV-related research and its reproducibility, parallel advances in users’ understanding of the indices and the standardization of analysis pipelines in its utility will be crucial. This paper addresses this gap and aims to provide an overview of the most up-to-date and commonly used HRV indices, as well as common research areas that these indices have shown to be very useful, particularly in psychology. In addition, we also provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform HRV analysis using an integrative neurophysiological toolkit, NeuroKit2.
... Chronic stress can cause a flattening of the diurnal pattern, lowering the early morning peak and elevating the low night-time levels [9]. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) arm of the stress response causes an increase in circulating catecholamines, increased heart rate, decreased heart rate variability (especially decreased high-frequency heart rate variability), and raised salivary alpha-amylase [9,[17][18][19][20]. Symptoms of the stress response should also be assessed using validated questionnaires such as the Subclinical Stress Symptom Questionnaire-25 (SSQ-25) [21] or the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10) [22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The stress response is a well-defined physiological function activated frequently by life events. However, sometimes the stress response can be inappropriate, excessive, or prolonged; in which case, it can hinder rather than help in coping with the stressor, impair normal functioning, and increase the risk of somatic and mental health disorders. There is a need for a more effective and safe pharmacological treatment that can dampen maladaptive stress responses. The endocannabinoid system is one of the main regulators of the stress response. A basal endocannabinoid tone inhibits the stress response, modulation of this tone permits/curtails an active stress response, and chronic deficiency in the endocannabinoid tone is associated with the pathological complications of chronic stress. Cannabidiol is a safe exogenous cannabinoid enhancer of the endocannabinoid system that could be a useful treatment for stress. There have been seven double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials of CBD for stress on a combined total of 232 participants and one partially controlled study on 120 participants. All showed that CBD was effective in significantly reducing the stress response and was non-inferior to pharmaceutical comparators, when included. The clinical trial results are supported by the established mechanisms of action of CBD (including increased N-arachidonylethanolamine levels) and extensive real-world and preclinical evidence of the effectiveness of CBD for treating stress.
... Another important question is if the different parameters of HRV mirror the state of the ANS. It has been shown, that representations of ANS in the brain and brain centers involved in HRV are mainly the same (122)(123)(124)(125). However, does HF correlate with the parasympathetic tone? ...
Article
Full-text available
Heart-rate variability (HRV) is frequently introduced as mirroring imbalances within the autonomous nerve system. Many investigations are based on the paradigm that increased sympathetic tone is associated with decreased parasympathetic tone and vice versa. But HRV is probably more than an indicator for probable disturbances in the autonomous system. Some perturbations trigger not reciprocal, but parallel changes of vagal and sympathetic nerve activity. HRV has also been considered as a surrogate parameter of the complex interaction between brain and cardiovascular system. Systems biology is an inter-disciplinary field of study focusing on complex interactions within biological systems like the cardiovascular system, with the help of computational models and time series analysis, beyond others. Time series are considered surrogates of the particular system, reflecting robustness or fragility. Increased variability is usually seen as associated with a good health condition, whereas lowered variability might signify pathological changes. This might explain why lower HRV parameters were related to decreased life expectancy in several studies. Newer integrating theories have been proposed. According to them, HRV reflects as much the state of the heart as the state of the brain. The polyvagal theory suggests that the physiological state dictates the range of behavior and psychological experience. Stressful events perpetuate the rhythms of autonomic states, and subsequently, behaviors. Reduced variability will according to this theory not only be a surrogate but represent a fundamental homeostasis mechanism in a pathological state. The neurovisceral integration model proposes that cardiac vagal tone, described in HRV beyond others as HF-index, can mirror the functional balance of the neural networks implicated in emotion–cognition interactions. Both recent models represent a more holistic approach to understanding the significance of HRV.
... A C C E P T E D M A N U S C R I P T Physiological foundation of empathy 6 Walter, 2013;Quintana, Guastella, Outhred, Hickie, & Kemp, 2012), we also hypothesized to find indices of HRV positively related to empathy measures. ...
Article
The capacity to represent the emotional and mental states of others is referred to by the concept of empathy. Empathy further differentiates into an emotional and a cognitive subcomponent, which in turn is known to require a tacit perspective-taking process. However, whether the empathizer by himself needs to enter an affective state as a necessary precondition for emotional empathy remains a matter of debate. If empathy would require a vicarious emotional reaction, specific physiological markers of affective responding should be detectable in the empathizing person. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between self-reported empathy and psychophysiological responses in young, healthy participants. We assessed emotional and cognitive empathy with the Multifaceted Empathy Test on the one hand and the corresponding heart rate and skin conductance responses (SCR), affective startle modulation and heart rate variability on the other. We found a negative relationship between SCR and self-reported emotional empathy: higher SCR to emotional stimuli predicted lower empathy ratings. We conclude that physiological arousal is not necessary and might even diminish empathy for others.
... More specifically, the meta-analysis also revealed decreased HRV in patients with SAD during resting state, albeit to a lesser extent than in most other anxiety disorders (Chalmers et al., 2014). Decreased HRV in patients with SAD during resting state was also found by other studies using RMSSD (Alvares et al., 2013;Garcia-Rubio et al., 2017) or high frequency power (Gaebler et al., 2013;Pittig et al., 2013). However, most studies have found no association between SAD and HRV during resting state using RMSSD (Klumbies et al., 2014) or high frequency power (Alkozei et al., 2015;Alvares et al., 2013;Faucher et al., 2016;Grossman et al., 2001;Schmitz et al., 2013). ...
Article
Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the extreme fear and avoidance of one or more social situations. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether heart rate variability (HRV) during resting state and a social performance task (SPT) is a candidate endophenotype of SAD. Methods: In this two-generation family study, patients with SAD with their partner and children, and their siblings with partner and children took part in a SPT (total n = 121, 9 families, 3-30 persons per family, age range: 8-61 years, 17 patients with SAD). In this task, participants had to watch and evaluate the speech of a female peer, and had to give a similar speech. HRV was measured during two resting state phases, and during anticipation, speech and recovery phases of the SPT. We tested two criteria for endophenotypes: co-segregation with SAD within families and heritability. Results: HRV did not co-segregate with SAD within families. Root mean square of successive differences during the first resting phase and recovery, and high frequency power during all phases of the task were heritable. Limitations: It should be noted that few participants were diagnosed with SAD. Results during the speech should be interpreted with caution, because the duration was short and there was a lot of movement. Conclusions: HRV during resting state and the SPT is a possible endophenotype, but not of SAD. As other studies have shown that HRV is related to different internalizing disorders, HRV might reflect a transdiagnostic genetic vulnerability for internalizing disorders. Future research should investigate which factors influence the development of psychopathology in persons with decreased HRV.
... ANS regulation is related to both attentional control and emotional regulation, and can be observed through the analysis of HRV (Porges, 2007;). HRV and especially HF-HRV is positively linked to good emotional regulation skills and therefore negatively associated with emotional or attentional dysfunctions such as social anxiety disorders (Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (Tonhajzerova et al., 2009). Low HRV has also been associated with chronic stress (Lucini, Riva, Pizzinelli, & Pagani, 2007;Pereira, Cerqueira, Palha, & Sousa, 2013) and burnout (Díaz-Rodríguez et al., 2011), It is also a good marker of cardiovascular risk (Assoumou et al., 2010;Schuster, Fischer, Thayer, Mauss, & Jarczok, 2016;Thayer, Yamamoto, & Brosschot, 2010). ...
Thesis
La théorie polyvagale (Porges, 2007) propose la flexibilité physiologique comme corrélat des compétences socio-émotionnelles. Cette flexibilité physiologique est en partie déterminée par les interactions coeur-cerveau mesurables par la variabilité cardiaque de haute fréquence (HF-HRV). Selon cette théorie, une plus haute HF-HRV devrait être associée à une meilleure perception des émotions et à des comportements davantage prosociaux. Si plusieurs données tendent à corroborer cette proposition, aucune étude ne permet de tester précisément ces hypothèses. Nous avons donc mené une série d’études ayant pour but de les tester. Dans une première étude, nous avons testé le lien entre HF-HRV et comportement prosocial mesuré par le niveau de coopération. Le niveau de HF-HRV prédisait le niveau de coopération mais dans un contexte spécifique. Notre deuxième étude avait pour but de tester le lien entre HF-HRV et perception des émotions. Ici, le niveau de HF-HRV ne prédisait pas de meilleures performances en reconnaissance d’émotions. Nous avons ensuite voulu tester un éventuel lien causal existant entre HF-HRV et prosocialité. Pour cela nous avons réalisé une expérience (étude 3) visant à manipuler la HF-HRV par biofeedback. Le biofeedback augmentait la HF-HRV mais uniquement chez les individus avec une faible ligne de base. L’étude 4 testait si manipuler la HF-HRV par biofeedback modulait le comportement de coopération. Nous n’avons pas répliqué nosrésultats quant à l’efficacité du biofeedback et n’avons donc pas observé d’effet sur la coopération. La cinquième et dernière étude permettait de tester si manipuler la prosocialité modulait le niveau de HF-HRV. Nous n’avons pas observé d’effet de notre manipulation expérimentale sur la HF-HRV. En conclusion, la prédiction de la théorie polyvagale est corroborée par les données empiriques quant au lien entre HF-HRV et comportements prosociaux mais aucune confirmation n’a pu étayer le rapport entre perception des émotions et HF-HRV. Dans le cas des manipulations expérimentales à court terme, aucune relation causale entre HF-HRV et comportements prosociaux n’a été observée.
... Measures of heart rate, including Heart Rate Variability (HRV), have been used as indicators of autonomic activity and to provide insight into higher neural function, in particular in relation to the anxietyrelated activity behaviour in humans (e.g. Social Anxiety Disorder, Gaebler et al., 2013) and horses (Visser et al., 2002;Rietman et al., 2004), whilst mean heart rate values were measured in experiments seeking to ascertain the anti-stress effects of massage in the horse (McBride et al., 2004). Interestingly Hansen et al. (2004) found that HRV variables (as an inferred measure of prefrontal cortex activity) correlated with both the results of athletic performance test and a working memory test in humans. ...
Article
Equitation encompasses a range of activities in which horses interact closely with humans. The need to ensure both horse management and equitation practice is ethical and sustainable is emphasized globally. Robust and rigorous measurement is critical to objective assessment of practice. This review describes the outcomes of technology application within generic equine science and specific equitation science studies including heart rate monitoring, Electromyography, Infrared Thermography, Pressure Algometry and remote recording of behavior and cognitive functioning. The impact of pressure and tension applied by saddles, girths, head gear and gadgets is considered along with subtle behavioural measurements such as eye blink rate, behavioural switching and laterality, some of which reveal aspects brain functioning that have direct relevance to training. Well designed, reliable technology certainly has the potential to provide researchers with a panacea to problems relating to accuracy, precision and experimenter bias, ushering in a ‘golden age of equitation’. However, to reach this stage careful consideration must be given over to experimental logistics such as sample selection, device calibration and data processing. A series of potential drawbacks with the use of Technology are identified including managing noise and increasing signal strength, dealing with practical implementation issues and managing the volume of data in order to conduct appropriate analysis to reach meaningful conclusions. Technology users are warned against the temptation to engage in Abductive Science when discussing the output of equitation science methodologies. Putting good research into practice, and vice versa, is crucial to future-proofing equitation and horse welfare.
... In fact, previous studies have reported that social phobia and OCD can be simultaneously present in some subjects (Camuri et al., 2014) (Baldwin, Brandish, & Meron, 2008). In addition, there are considerable evidences showing that patients with social phobia course with higher social sensitivity (Boll et al., 2016;Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013;Veit et al., 2002). Future studies should explore and control to what extent in that social effects are related to the presence of social phobia symptoms. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Error monitoring, cognitive control and motor inhibition control are proposed as cognitive alterations disrupted in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD has also been associated with an increased sensitivity to social evaluations. The effect of a social simulation over electrophysiological indices of cognitive alterations in OCD was examined. Methods: A case-control cross-sectional study measuring event-related potentials (ERP) for error monitoring (Error-Related Negativity), cognitive control (N2) and motor control (LRP) was conducted. We analyzed twenty OCD patients and twenty control participants. ERP were recorded during a social game consisting of a visual discrimination task, which was performed in the presence of a simulated superior or an inferior player. Results: Significant social effects (different ERP amplitudes in Superior vs. Inferior player conditions) were found for OCD patients, but not for controls, in all ERP components. Performing the task against a simulated inferior player reduced abnormal ERP responses in OCD to levels observed in controls. The hierarchy-induced ERP effects were accompanied effects over reaction times in OCD patients. Conclusions: Social context modulates signatures of abnormal cognitive functioning in OCD, therefore experiencing a social superiority position impacts over cognitive processes in OCD such as error monitoring mechanisms. These results open the door for the research of new therapeutic choices.
... HRV reaches its maximum in young adulthood (15–24 years of age) and tends to decline with age until the 6th decade (see Sosnowski, 2010; for an overview), which is caused mostly by a specific age-related change in vagal modulation of the heart rate (De Meersman & Stein, 2007; Fukusaki, Kawakubo, & Yamamoto, 2000). Results on sex differences in HRV are less clear: Some studies found higher HRV in women compared to men over all age groups (Antelmi et al., 2004; Britton et al., 2007), others conclude that higher HRV in women is more likely observable in younger age groups (up to 30 years of age) than in older age (De Meersman & Stein, 2007; Stein, Kleiger, & Rottman, 1997). ...
Article
Heart rate variability (HRV) has been suggested as a biological correlate of self-control. Whereas many studies found a relationship between HRV at rest and self-control, effect sizes vary substantially across studies in magnitude and direction. This meta-analysis evaluated the association between HRV at rest and self-control in laboratory tasks, with a particular focus on the identification of moderating factors (task characteristics, methodological aspects of HRV assessment, demographics). Overall, 24 articles with 26 studies and 132 effects (n = 2317, mean age = 22.44, range 18.4 - 57.8) were integrated (random effects model with robust variance estimation). We found a positive average effect of r = .15, 95 % CI [.088; .221], p<.001 with a moderate heterogeneity (I(2) = 56.10%), but observed evidence of publication bias. Meta-regressions did not reveal significant moderators. Due to the presence of potential publication bias, our results have to be interpreted cautiously.
... Low resting levels of HRV have repeatedly been found in SAD as compared to healthy controls (e.g. Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013;Licht et al., 2009;Pittig, Arch, Lam, & Craske, 2013), although not always statistically significant (e.g. Klumbies, Braeuer, Hoyer, & Kirschbaum, 2014), and some authors have suggested that the HRV differences are more pronounced for women (see Friedman, 2007). ...
... To name a few, lower HRV is related to preclinical diabetic neuropathy and recovery from myocardial infarction (Malik et al., 1996). Since the publication of the first guidelines for the measurement and interpretation of HRV in 1996, research utilizing a broad range of HRV measures has steadily increased not only in the medical but also in the experimental (neuro-) psychological context (e.g., Adlan, Lip, Paton, Kitas, & Fisher, 2014;Brosschot, Van Dijk, & Thayer, 2007;Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013;Koenig, Jarczok, Ellis, Hillecke, & Thayer, 2014;Van Cauwenbergh et al., 2014). The popularity and feasibility of this particular physiological outcome has led to an analogous increase in the availability of software packages to import raw data, correct artifacts, and provide HRV components with relative ease. ...
Article
This technical note introduces an easy to use macro in Office Excel to batch the output from Kubios HRV 2.2, which is a software program for heart rate variability (HRV) data extraction. Due to a new release of the program previous solutions have become outdated. The current macro simplifies and substantially reduces the time needed to post-process the output from Kubios HRV 2.2. With the use of this macro advancements in knowledge on the role of HRV in mental and physical health can be accelerated.
... This framework thus connects affective and attentional processes to the ANS. Of particular interest for this study are social factors influencing HRV or PNS activation: Patients with social anxiety disorder show decreased HRV-an index of decreased PNS activityat rest (Alvares et al., 2013) and during implicit emotional face processing (Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013). In healthy participants, HRV has been shown to decrease during psychosocial stress and other negative social interactions (Shahrestani, Stewart, Quintana, Hickie, & Guastella, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with obesity in Western societies often face weight-related stigmatization and social exclusion. Recurrent exposure to prejudice and negative social feedback alters one’s behavior in future social interactions. In this study, we aimed to investigate autonomic nervous system and affective responses to social interactions in individuals with obesity. Women and men with (n = 56) and without (n = 56) obesity participated in episodes of social inclusion and social exclusion using a virtual ball-tossing game. During the experiment, heart rate was measured and parasympathetic activity (overall high-frequency power and event-related cardiac slowing) was analyzed. Our results show that in novel social interactions, women with obesity, relative to the other groups, exhibited the strongest increase in parasympathetic activity. Furthermore, parasympathetic activity was related to a more negative body image in individuals with obesity, but not in lean individuals. Additionally, women with obesity reported a stronger decrease in mood after social exclusion than did the other participants. Our results demonstrate influences of objective and subjective bodily characteristics on parasympathetic cardio-regulation during social interactions. In particular, they show behavioral and physiological alterations during social interactions in women with obesity.
... Often this is accomplished by using an analysis period that begins subsequent to the start of recording, an approach used by ourselves 19,67,92 and others. [106][107][108] Acclimatization can help reduce any HRV changes because of posture, which may take time to adjust if the participant has just assumed a supine or seated position. [109][110][111] Acclimatization may also reduce confounds subsequent to test anxiety in psychiatric populations. ...
Article
Full-text available
The number of publications investigating heart rate variability (HRV) in psychiatry and the behavioral sciences has increased markedly in the last decade. In addition to the significant debates surrounding ideal methods to collect and interpret measures of HRV, standardized reporting of methodology in this field is lacking. Commonly cited recommendations were designed well before recent calls to improve research communication and reproducibility across disciplines. In an effort to standardize reporting, we propose the Guidelines for Reporting Articles on Psychiatry and Heart rate variability (GRAPH), a checklist with four domains:participant selection, interbeat interval collection, data preparation and HRV calculation. This paper provides an overview of these four domains and why their standardized reporting is necessary to suitably evaluate HRV research in psychiatry and related disciplines. Adherence to these communication guidelines will help expedite the translation of HRV research into a potential psychiatric biomarker by improving interpretation, reproducibility and future meta-analyses.
... HrV was also investigated in relation of state and trait anxiety (Gaebler et al., 2013;Pittig et al., 2013). Similarly to allergy mentioned earlier, anxiety disorders are considered a risk factor in developing cardiovascular disorders (chalmers et al., 2014;Vogelzangs et al., 2010). ...
Article
Introduction. Heart rate variability (HRV) represents one of the most used biomarkers of cardiovascular health that offers insight on autonomic nervous system (ANS) activation. This study deals with the issue of abnormal functioning of the ANS in allergic individuals who were monitored during three consecutive years. Methods. Our aim was to analyze the influence of various stress protocols on HRV parameters, which could be used as markers of ANS activity and on subjective perception of stress described by STAI-X1 (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). Four different stress protocols are compared here: 1. Psychosocial stress (PSST), 2. Cognitive stress, 3. Measurements in natural conditions and 4. PSST group test (GPSST). This study compares outcome of the four protocols also with referential HRV measurement. Results and Discussion. The findings show that the stress tasks which featured a social component (PSST a GPSST) triggered a more intensive physiological response in comparison to cognitive stress or with natural conditions measurements. We recorded an interesting and significant finding related to allergy: allergic subjects showed a tendency towards decreased heart rate frequency (HR) and increased overall HRV in all tests. However, in case of subjectively perceived stress, no differences between groups were recorded. Besides, the functioning of the ANS showed also gender differences represented by an increased HR and a decreased HRV in women. Conclusion. Our results show increased HR and decreased HRV in stress conditions in all stress protocols. Our data support the prior findings of sympathetic withdrawal and/or parasympathetic hyperactivation in individuals suffering from allergy, which could be one form of the dysregulation of the ANS. © 2018, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. All rights reserved.
... Studies that combine resting and task-based measures of HRV with neuroimaging have focused on neural activity across a number of different contexts such as social stress (Ahs, Sollers, Furmark, Fredrikson, & Thayer, 2009), effortful cognitive and motor control (Critchley et al., 2003), emotion introspection (Weissman, Guyer, Ferrer, Robins, & Hastings, 2018), film and recall based emotion induction , and resting functional connectivity (Chang et al., 2013;Sakaki et al., 2016). Overall, however, surprisingly few studies have examined the relation between resting HRV and neural response to others' emotional expressions (Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013). Furthermore, whether resting HRV is linked to putative neural mechanisms of sensorimotor resonance has not been studied. ...
Article
Whether neurovisceral integration, reflected by resting high-frequency heart rate variability (HRV), constrains or facilitates neural reactivity to other people’s emotions is unclear. We assessed the relation between resting HRV and neural activation when observing and imitating emotional faces. We focused on brain regions implicated in sensorimotor resonance, salience detection and arousal. We used electrocardiogram data to compute resting HRV. Resting HRV measures were negatively correlated with activation in a portion of the inferior frontal gyrus showing mirror neuron properties, the insula and the amygdala in response to observation, but not imitation, of emotional faces. Thus, resting HRV appears to be linked to sensitivity to others’ emotional cues, both in terms of the tendency to map others’ emotional facial expressions onto one’s own motor system and to rapidly detect and mark others’ emotions as salient events. Resting HRV may reflect, in part, a threshold for increased processing of others’ emotional cues.
... The Hariri et al. (2000) task has been used by several research groups because of its robust amygdala activation. Most of the published articles using the task (e.g., Gaebler et al., 2013;Mattson et al., 2016;van Wingen et al., 2011) reported similar results to Hariri et al. (2000), but others have reported differential activation patterns specifically for the amygdala and hippocampus (Contreras-Rodríguez et al., 2014;Fagundo et al., 2014;Wang et al., 2004). Table 2 shows a selection of articles with their findings for limbic activation in addition to the preprocessing steps that were applied to the data, activations reported, motion correction information if described, the FWHM smoothing kernel used, spatial resolution if information was published, and scanner field strength. ...
Article
Given the amygdala's role in survival mechanisms, and its pivotal contributions to psychological processes, it is no surprise that it is one of the most well-studied brain regions. One of the common methods for understanding the functional role of the amygdala is the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, fMRI tends to be acquired using resolutions that are not optimal for smaller brain structures. Furthermore, standard processing includes spatial smoothing and motion correction which further degrade the resolution of the data. Inferentially, this may be detrimental when determining if the amygdalae are active during a task. Indeed, studies using the same task may show differential amygdala(e) activation. Here, we examine the effects of well-accepted preprocessing steps on whole-brain submillimeter fMRI data to determine the impact on activation patterns associated with a robust task known to activate the amygdala(e). We analyzed 7T fMRI data from 30 healthy individuals collected at sub-millimeter in-plane resolution and used a field standard preprocessing pipeline with different combinations of smoothing kernels and motion correction options. Resultant amygdalae activation patterns were altered depending on which combination of smoothing and motion correction were performed, indicating that whole-brain preprocessing steps have a significant impact on the inferences that can be drawn about smaller, subcortical structures like the amygdala.
... However, the studies contributing to this model have thus far only investigated task-related changes in HRV, and have assumed that the MVN relationship to HRV during task conditions reflects a stable regulatory relationship between central and peripheral neurophysiology that continues to operate at rest (i.e., outside the scanner environment). This assumption is supported by previous studies that have provided evidence that resting HRV (rHRV) is related to phasic changes in HRV during emotion processing (Butler, Wilhelm, & Gross, 2006;Gaebler et al., 2013;Park et al., 2014). However, if this model is to explain rHRV differences between depressed and controls, it is also necessary to illustrate that a relationship between MVN activity and rHRV is present in healthy subjects. ...
Article
We hypothesized that in healthy subjects differences in resting heart rate variability (rHRV) would be associated with differences in emotional reactivity within the medial visceromotor network (MVN). We also probed whether this MVN-rHRV relationship was diminished in depression. Eleven healthy adults and nine depressed subjects performed the emotional counting stroop task in alternating blocks of emotion and neutral words during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The correlation between rHRV outside the scanner and BOLD signal reactivity (absolute value of change between adjacent blocks in the BOLD signal) was examined in specific MVN regions. Significant negative correlations were observed between rHRV and average BOLD shift magnitude (BSM) in several MVN regions in healthy subjects but not depressed subjects. This preliminary report provides novel evidence relating emotional reactivity in MVN regions to rHRV. It also provides preliminary suggestive evidence that depression may involve reduced interaction between the MVN and cardiac vagal control.
... Low levels of the HRV high frequency (HF)primarily influenced by RSAhave specifically been shown to be an indicator for the state of depression in clinical populations (Hartmann et al., 2019;Koch et al., 2019). Additionally, reduced HF in patients with social anxiety disorder both at rest and upon emotional processing suggests a relationship between psychopathology and decreased parasympathetic flexibility (Gaebler et al., 2013). ...
Article
Background: Parasympathetic function and emotional self-regulation (ESR) share neuroanatomic structures. Based on Porges’ Polyvagal Theory and the Neurovisceral Integration Model (NIM), we compared vagally mediated heart-rate variability (vmHRV) with psychometrically assessed ESR. We hypothesized that vmHRV and ESR would be associated during rest, a vagal function test, and recovery from that test. A significant association would justify the psychometric measuring of parasympathetic health, which is less burdensome than its psychophysiological assessment. Methods: 213 healthy males (aged 18 to 26, M = 20.29) took part in the present study. They completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) and underwent the Cold-Face Test (CFT) for four minutes wearing ambulatory electrocardiograms. High frequency (HF) band was used as a measure of vmHRV before, during, and after the CFT. Associations between the HF band and ESR were analyzed with partial rank correlations. Results: There was no significant association between ERQ scores and the response to the CFT itself. But there was an almost significant association between the ERQ scale Cognitive Appraisal and baseline vmHRV, and a significant association between Cognitive Appraisal and cardiac recovery from the CFT, i.e., participants with higher scores on that ESR scale revealed a tendency to exhibit greater vmHRV during baseline and they clearly exhibited greater vagal withdrawal during recovery from the CFT. Discussion: Cognitive appraisal as a psychometrically assessed emotion regulatory process was reflected in a more flexible parasympathetic activity (i.e., better cardiac vagal health) during recovery from an exclusively physiological stressor. This lends convergent validity to self-reported emotion regulation, and justification for its use as a measure of ESR as a trait, offering further support for the Polyvagal Theory and NIM.
... Moreover, interactions between the striatum and amygdala are of particular interest in the context of reward processing (56), and the caudate nucleus is implicated in the processing of threatening face stimuli (57). Interestingly, a positive correlation has been reported between the activation of the caudate nucleus and HRV in patients with social anxiety disorder, while a negative correlation is observed in healthy individuals (58). Our results provide further novel insight into striatolimbic interaction relevant to perseverative cognition. ...
Article
Background: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by the core symptom of uncontrollable worry. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies link this symptom to aberrant functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Patients with GAD also display a characteristic pattern of autonomic dysregulation. Although frontolimbic circuitry is implicated in the regulation of autonomic arousal, no previous study to our knowledge combined functional magnetic resonance imaging with peripheral physiologic monitoring in these patients to test the hypothesis that core symptoms of worry and autonomic dysregulation in GAD arise from a shared underlying neural mechanism. Methods: We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and the measurement of parasympathetic autonomic function (heart rate variability) in 19 patients with GAD and 21 control subjects to define neural correlates of autonomic and cognitive responses before and after induction of perseverative cognition. Seed-based analyses were conducted to quantify brain changes in functional connectivity with the right and left amygdala. Results: Before induction, patients showed relatively lower connectivity between the right amygdala and right superior frontal gyrus, right paracingulate/anterior cingulate cortex, and right supramarginal gyrus than control subjects. After induction, such connectivity patterns increased in patients with GAD and decreased in control subjects, and these changes tracked increases in state perseverative cognition. Moreover, decreases in functional connectivity between the left amygdala and subgenual cingulate cortex and between the right amygdala and caudate nucleus predicted the magnitude of reduction in heart rate variability after induction. Conclusions: Our results link functional brain mechanisms underlying worry and rumination to autonomic dyscontrol, highlighting overlapping neural substrates associated with cognitive and autonomic responses to the induction of perseverative cognitions in patients with GAD.
... Nearly half of highly behaviorally inhibited children go on to develop SAD [5], probably caused by a propense genetic background [6] and triggered/intensified by environment factors [7]. The molecular and neuroanatomical knowledge of SAD evolved from the classic amygdala circuitry for conditioned fear [8] to recent evidences pointing to the involvement of other brain structures [9][10][11][12][13]. Although the relevance of genetic J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f factors has been demonstrated, a lack of consistency is observed across the studies, in particular, the amount of variance explained by genetic factors from twin studies [14]. ...
Article
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by emotional and attentional biases as well as distorted negative self-beliefs. According this, we proposed to identify the brain structures and hub genes involved in SAD. An analysis in Pubmed and TRANSFAC was conducted and 72 genes were identified. Using Microarray data from Allen Human Brain Atlas it was possible to identify three modules of co-expressed genes from our gene set (R package WGCNA). Higher mean gene expression was found in cortico-medial group, basomedial nucleus, ATZ in amygdala and in head and tail of the caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens and putamen in striatum. Our enrichment analysis identified the followed hub genes: DRD2, HTR1A, JUN, SP1 and HDAC4. We suggest that SAD is explained by delayed extinction of circuitry for conditioned fear caused by reduced activation of the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems due diminished expectation of reward during social interactions.
... Moreover, interactions between the striatum and amygdala are of particular interest in the context of reward processing (56), and the caudate nucleus is implicated in the processing of threatening face stimuli (57). Interestingly, a positive correlation has been reported between the activation of the caudate nucleus and HRV in patients with social anxiety disorder, while a negative correlation is observed in healthy individuals (58). Our results provide further novel insight into striatolimbic interaction relevant to perseverative cognition. ...
Article
Background Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by the core symptom of uncontrollable worry. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies link this symptom to aberrant functional connectivity between amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Patients with GAD also display a characteristic pattern of autonomic dysregulation. However, while frontolimbic circuitry is implicated in the regulation of autonomic arousal, no previous study combined fMRI with peripheral physiological monitoring in this population to test the hypothesis that core symptoms of worry and autonomic dysregulation in GAD arise from a shared underlying neural mechanism. Methods We used ‘resting-state’ fMRI, alongside the measurement of parasympathetic autonomic function (heart rate variability) in 19 GAD patients and 21 controls to define neural correlates of autonomic and cognitive responses before and after induction of perseverative cognition. Seed-based analyses were conducted to quantify brain-wise changes in functional connectivity with right and left amygdala. Results Before induction, patients showed relatively lower connectivity between right amygdala and right superior frontal gyrus, right paracingulate/anterior cingulate cortex, and right supramarginal gyrus than controls. After induction, such connectivity patterns increased in GAD and decreased in controls and these changes tracked increases in state perseverative cognition. Moreover, decreases in functional connectivity between left amygdala and subgenual cingulate cortex and between right amygdala and caudate nucleus predicted the magnitude of heart rate variability reduction after induction. Conclusions Results link functional brain mechanisms underlying worry and rumination to autonomic dyscontrol, highlighting overlapping neural substrates associated with cognitive and autonomic responses to the induction of perseverative cognitions in GAD patients.
... This heightened awareness in turn might have let them sense bodily sensations more intensely and thus overrate these feelings. This is in line with studies showing that patients with SAD (Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013) and high socially anxious individuals (Mauss et al., 2004) are less accurate than healthy controls to estimate their bodily reactions to stress, e.g. heartbeat and respiratory rate. ...
... 6,7 All of the above concepts about HRV have been used in previous AD studies. [12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] The HRV presentations in AD patients were somewhat different between studies. Some studies revealed that AD patients had significantly lower resting-state HRV than healthy individuals, whereas some others revealed non-significant inter-group differences. ...
Article
Aims: Patients with anxiety disorders (AD) have been found to have lower heart rate variability (HRV) than healthy individuals in some studies, but this was inconsistent. Furthermore, the influence of distinct diagnoses, study design, and demographic factors on the results was not comprehensively examined. Methods: We gathered studies comparing HRV in patients with AD and in healthy controls. The parasympathetic activity in the hierarchical order principle was adopted in the main analysis. We adopted the random effects model to calculate the standardized mean difference. Results: Of the 7805 screened studies, 99 were included in the quantitative analysis, with a total of 4897 AD patients and 5559 controls finally entered the meta-analysis. AD patients had a significantly lower resting-state HRV for parasympathetic activity compared to control (Hedges' g=-0.3897). For the diagnostic subgroup analysis relative to the controls, resting-state HRV was significantly lower in post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder patients. HRV reactivity (all reactivity data, data on physiological challenge, and psychological challenge) did not show significant inter-group differences between AD patients and healthy subjects. Conclusions: The results supported that patients with AD had significantly lower resting-state HRV than the healthy population, but no alterations were found for HRV reactivity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... At worst, results may indicate the effect of perceived frequency and valence of contact on neurological intergroup phenomena -a useful question in its own right. This question of whether personal beliefs and recollection of interactions with outgroup members is germane to face processing remains relevant, especially given that such cognitive phenomena -though potentially reconstructed -are likely to themselves be caused by more strictly objective phenomena such as local demographics and actual contact experience [54][55][56] . Future research could more directly test the hypothesis that (objective) intergroup contact modulates other-race face processing, by experimentally inducing intergroup contact of either positive or negative valence and investigating its immediate effects on the neural basis of race face processing. ...
Article
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In this study, we investigated the effect of intergroup contact on processing of own- and other-race faces using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Previous studies have shown a neural own-race effect with greater BOLD response to own race compared to other race faces. In our study, white participants completed a social-categorization task and an individuation task while viewing the faces of both black and white strangers after having answered questions about their previous experiences with black people. We found that positive contact modulated BOLD activity in the right fusiform gyrus (rFG) and left inferior occipital gyrus (lIOC), regions associated with face processing. Within these regions, higher positive contact was associated with higher activity when processing black, compared to white faces during the social categorisation task. We also found that in both regions a greater amount of individuating experience with black people was associated with greater activation for black vs. white faces in the individuation task. Quantity of contact, implicit racial bias and negatively valenced contact showed no effects. Our findings suggest that positive contact and individuating experience directly modulate processing of out-group faces in the visual cortex, and illustrate that contact quality rather than mere familiarity is an important factor in reducing the own race face effect.
... 3 Chalmers et al., 2014;Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013;Pittig, Arch, Lam, & Craske, 2013). ...
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Background: Heart rate variability (HRV) is discussed to signal social safety. Conversely, shyness might be accompanied by attenuated feelings of social safety. This study aimed to examine if shy individuals show compromised HRV in everyday life and if social interactions with close others (both face to face and computer-mediated) might moderate this association. Methods: Social interactions and HRV (root mean squared successive differences) were recorded across three consecutive days in 51 participants. Findings: HRV was lower in shy as compared to non-shy individuals. When interacting with close others, HRV in shy individuals increased considerably, while there was no effect for non-shy individuals. Exploratory analyses confirmed that effects were more reliable for face-to-face as compared to computer-mediated interactions. Discussion: Shyness may be associated with compromised social engagement as indicated by lower HRV. However, shy individuals may benefit from face-to-face interactions with close others, thus suggesting a buffering effect on cardiac function.
... In clinical contexts, patients with anxiety disorders compared to healthy controls show decreased PNS activity at rest (Alvares et al., 2013;Thayer, Friedman, & Borkovec, 1996), smaller changes in HRV from baseline during cognitive stress and during recovery (Movius & Allen, 2005), and decreased HRV during implicit emotional face processing (Gaebler, Daniels, Lamke, Fydrich, & Walter, 2013) or worrying (Thayer et al., 1996). Beyond anxiety, patients with depression also show reduced PNS activity compared to healthy controls (Kemp et al., 2010) and individuals with high depressive symptoms exhibit stronger reduction in PNS activity during stress and relative to baseline compared to individuals with low depressive symptoms (Hughes & Stoney, 2000). ...
... Pulse-to-pulse intervals are a sufficient proxy for cardiac inter-beat-intervals (IBIs) and suitable for analysis of HR and HRV (Selvaraj et al., 2008;Lu et al., 2009;Gil et al., 2010). Readout of pulse oximetry data was automated in MATLAB to determine IBIs based on the built-in Siemens peak detection algorithm, as described in Gaebler et al. (2013). IBIs were written in a text file and later analyzed using Kubios HRV analysis package 2.2 (Tarvainen et al., 2014), allowing for the calculation of time-and frequency-domain indices of RVA. ...
Article
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with abnormalities in cortical thickness and autonomic function. Adolescence is a time notable for brain development and MDD onset. In healthy adolescents, greater resting state vagal activity (RVA) is associated with lower cortical thickness. The relationship between brain structural thickness and RVA in adolescents with MDD has not previously been studied. This secondary analysis drew on a sample of 37 non-depressed controls and 53 adolescents with MDD. Resting state heart rate and two indices of RVA (HF-HRV and RMSSD) were recorded during a neuroimaging session. Cortical thickness within fronto-limbic regions of interest was measured using Freesurfer analysis of T1-weighted high-resolution structural images. Self-reports of depression severity showed a significant interaction with cortical thickness of the right insula in predicting RMSSD (t = 2.22, p=.030, β = 5.44; model fit of the interaction term as indicated by the Bayes Factor (BF): 7.58) and HF-HRV (t = 2.09, p=.041, β = 4.72; BF: 7.94). Clinician ratings of depression severity showed further interactions. Findings underscore the important relationships between RVA and cortical development, suggesting two possible explanations: (1) in adolescent MDD, greater fronto-limbic thickness is compensatory for deficits in autonomic regulation; or (2) increased autonomic arousal results in delayed fronto-limbic maturation. Longitudinal research is necessary to further clarify the nature of the relationship between autonomic functioning and cortical development.
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Biofield physiology is proposed as an overarching descriptor for the electromagnetic, biophotonic, and other types of spatially-distributed fields that living systems generate and respond to as integral aspects of cellular, tissue, and whole organism self-regulation and organization. Medical physiology, cell biology, and biophysics provide the framework within which evidence for biofields, their proposed receptors, and functions is presented. As such, biofields can be viewed as affecting physiological regulatory systems in a manner that complements the more familiar molecular-based mechanisms. Examples of clinically relevant biofields are the electrical and magnetic fields generated by arrays of heart cells and neurons that are detected, respectively, as electrocardiograms (ECGs) or magnetocardiograms (MCGs) and electroencephalograms (EEGs) or magnetoencephalograms (MEGs). At a basic physiology level, electromagnetic activity of neural assemblies appears to modulate neuronal synchronization and circadian rhythmicity. Numerous nonneural electrical fields have been detected and analyzed, including those arising from patterns of resting membrane potentials that guide development and regeneration, and from slowly-varying transepithelial direct current fields that initiate cellular responses to tissue damage. Another biofield phenomenon is the coherent, ultraweak photon emissions (UPE), detected from cell cultures and from the body surface. A physiological role for biophotons is consistent with observations that fluctuations in UPE correlate with cerebral blood flow, cerebral energy metabolism, and EEG activity. Biofield receptors are reviewed in 3 categories: molecular-level receptors, charge flux sites, and endogenously generated electric or electromagnetic fields. In summary, sufficient evidence has accrued to consider biofield physiology as a viable scientific discipline. Directions for future research are proposed.
Conference Paper
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) might be confused with shyness. However, experiencing anxiety can have profound short and long-term implications. During an anxiety span, the subject suffers from blushing, sweating or trembling. Social activities are harder to accomplish and the subject might tend to avoid them. Although there are tested methods to treat SAD such as Exposure Therapy (ET) and Pharmacotherapy, patients do not treat themselves or suspend treatment due economic, time or space barriers. Wearable computing technologies can be used to constantyly monitor user context offering the possibility to detect anxiety spans. In this work we used Google Glass and the Zephyr HxM Bluetooth band to monitor Spontaneous Blink Rate (SBR) and Heart Rate (HR) respectively. We conducted an experiment that involved 8 subjects in two groups: Mild SAD and No SAD. The experiment consisted on an induced anxiety situation where each participant gave a 10 minutes speech in front of 2 professors. We found higher average heart rates after induced anxiety spans on the mild SAD group. However, we found no evidence of increased SBR as an anxiety indicator. These results indicate that wearable devices can be used to detect anxiety.
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Advances in biophysics, biology, functional genomics, neuroscience, psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and other fields suggest the existence of a subtle system of "biofield" interactions that organize biological processes from the subatomic, atomic, molecular, cellular, and organismic to the interpersonal and cosmic levels. Biofield interactions may bring about regulation of biochemical, cellular, and neurological processes through means related to electromagnetism, quantum fields, and perhaps other means of modulating biological activity and information flow. The biofield paradigm, in contrast to a reductionist, chemistry-centered viewpoint, emphasizes the informational content of biological processes; biofield interactions are thought to operate in part via low-energy or "subtle" processes such as weak, nonthermal electromagnetic fields (EMFs) or processes potentially related to consciousness and nonlocality. Biofield interactions may also operate through or be reflected in more well-understood informational processes found in electroencephalographic (EEG) and electrocardiographic (ECG) data. Recent advances have led to the development of a wide variety of therapeutic and diagnostic biofield devices, defined as physical instruments best understood from the viewpoint of a biofield paradigm. Here, we provide a broad overview of biofield devices, with emphasis on those devices for which solid, peer-reviewed evidence exists. A subset of these devices, such as those based upon EEG- and ECG-based heart rate variability, function via mechanisms that are well understood and are widely employed in clinical settings. Other device modalities, such a gas discharge visualization and biophoton emission, appear to operate through incompletely understood mechanisms and have unclear clinical significance. Device modes of operation include EMF-light, EMF-heat, EMF-nonthermal, electrical current, vibration and sound, physical and mechanical, intentionality and nonlocality, gas and plasma, and other (mode of operation not well-understood). Methodological issues in device development and interfaces for future interdisciplinary research are discussed. Devices play prominent cultural and scientific roles in our society, and it is likely that device technologies will be one of the most influential access points for the furthering of biofield research and the dissemination of biofield concepts. This developing field of study presents new areas of research that have many important implications for both basic science and clinical medicine.
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We live in an age of unparalleled technological and scientific progress, juxtaposed with a cascading series of poor social, health, and environmental choices that could bring our species to the brink of catastrophe. Within the past 100 years alone, we have created significant advances in technologies to better control disease outbreaks, extend our lifespan, enhance global communication, increase our work productivity, and improve our overall quality of life. At the same time, we are facing major healthcare crises including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental illness. Despite our best efforts and technological advances, we have not yet conquered these and other life- and health-interfering disorders. In addition, health disparities are increasing and the 100 year rise in life expectancy is flattening.1 This continuance of human suffering, in the face of all our advancements, is leading to substantial and exponentially growing costs to individuals and to society.
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Background: Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction is a putative underlying mechanism for increased cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with psychiatric disorders. Previous studies suggest that this risk may be related to psychotropic medication use. In the present study we systematically reviewed and analyzed published studies of heart rate variability (HRV), measuring ANS output, to determine the effect of psychiatric illness and medication use. Methods: We searched for studies comparing HRV in physically healthy adults with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder to controls and comparing HRV pre- and post-treatment with a psychotropic medication. Results: In total, 140 case-control (mood, anxiety, psychosis, dependent disorders, k = 151) and 30 treatment (antidepressants, antipsychotics; k = 43) studies were included. We found that HRV was reduced in all patient groups compared to controls (Hedges g = -0.583) with a large effect for psychotic disorders (Hedges g = -0.948). Effect sizes remained highly significant for medication-free patients compared to controls across all disorders. Smaller and significant reductions in HRV were observed for specific antidepressants and antipsychotics. Limitations: Study quality significantly moderated effect sizes in case-control analyses, underscoring the importance of assessing methodological quality when interpreting HRV findings. Conclusion: Combined findings confirm substantial reductions in HRV across psychiatric disorders, and these effects remained significant even in medication-free individuals. Reductions in HRV may therefore represent a significant mechanism contributing to elevated cardiovascular risk in individuals with psychiatric disorders. The negative impact of specific medications on HRV suggest increased risk for cardiovascular disease in these groups, highlighting a need for treatment providers to consider modifiable cardiovascular risk factors to attenuate this risk.
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Anxiety is often conceptualised as the prototypical disorder of interoception (one’s perception of bodily states). Whilst theoretical models predict an association between interoceptive accuracy and anxiety, empirical work has produced mixed results. This manuscript presents a pre-registered systematic review (https://osf.io/2h5xz) and meta-analysis of 55 studies, obtained via a Pubmed search on 9th November 2020, examining the relationship between state and trait anxiety and objectively measured cardiac interoceptive accuracy as assessed by heartbeat counting and discrimination tasks. Potential moderators of this relationship - the age, gender and clinical diagnoses of participants, the anxiety measures used and the study design - were also explored. Overall, we found no evidence for an association between cardiac interoceptive accuracy and anxiety, with none of the factors examined moderating this finding. We discuss the implications these findings have for future research, with a particular focus on the need for further investigation of the relationship between anxiety and other facets of interoception.
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There is a long-standing debate on the influence of physiological signals on social behavior. Recent studies suggested that heart rate variability (HRV) may be a marker of social cognitive processes. However, this evidence is preliminary and limited to laboratory studies. In this study, 25 participants were assessed with a social cognition battery and asked to wear a wearable device measuring HRV for 6 consecutive days. The results showed that reduced HRV correlated with higher hostility attribution bias. However, no relationship was found between HRV and other social cognitive measures including facial emotion recognition, theory of mind or emotional intelligence. These results suggest that HRV may be linked to specific social cognitive processes requiring online emotional processing, in particular those related to social threat. These findings are discussed in the context of the neurovisceral integration model.
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Theoretical perspectives posit that heart-rate variability (HRV) reflects self-regulatory capacity and therefore can be employed as a bio-marker of top-down self-regulation (the ability to regulate behavioral, cognitive, and emotional processes). However, existing findings of relations between self-regulation and HRV-indices are mixed. To clarify the nature of such relations, we conducted a meta-analysis of 123 studies (N = 14,347) reporting relations between HRV-indices and aspects of top-down self-regulation (e.g., executive functioning, emotion regulation, effortful control). A significant, albeit small, effect was observed (r = 0.09) such that greater HRV was related to better top-down self-regulation. Differences in relations were negligible across aspects of self-regulation, self-regulation measurement methods, HRV computational techniques, at-risk compared with healthy samples, and the context of HRV measurement. Stronger relations were observed in older relative to younger samples and in published compared to unpublished studies. These findings generally support the notion that HRV-indices can tentatively be employed as bio-markers of top-down self-regulation. Conceptual and theoretical implications, and critical gaps in current knowledge to be addressed by future work, are discussed.
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Background Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by a significant amount of fear when confronted to social situations. Exposure therapy, which is based on fear extinction, does not often lead to full remission. Here, based on evidence showing that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep promotes the consolidation of extinction memory, we used targeted memory reactivation (TMR) during REM sleep to enhance extinction learning in SAD. Methods Forty-eight subjects with SAD were randomly assigned to two groups: control or TMR group. All patients had two successive exposure therapy sessions in a virtual reality (VR) environment, where they were asked to give a public talk in front of a virtual jury. At the end of each session, and only in the TMR group ( N = 24), a sound was paired to the positive feedback phase of therapy (i.e., approval of their performance), which represented the memory to be strengthened during REM sleep. All participants slept at home with a wearable headband device which automatically identified sleep stages and administered the sound during REM sleep. Participants' anxiety level was assessed using measures of parasympathetic (root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats, RMSSD) and sympathetic (non-specific skin conductance responses, ns-SCRs) activity, and subjective measures (Subjective Units of Distress Scale, SUDS), during the preparation phase of their talks before (T1) and after (T2) one full-night's sleep and after 1 week at home (T3). Participants also filled in a dream diary. Results We observed an effect of time on subjective measures of anxiety (SUDS). We did not find any difference in the anxiety levels of the two groups after 1 week of TMR at home. Importantly, the longer the total duration of REM sleep and the more stimulations the TMR group had at home, the less anxious (increased RMSSD) these participants were. Finally, fear in dreams correlated positively with ns-SCRs and SUDS at T3 in the TMR group. Conclusion TMR during REM sleep did not significantly modulate the beneficial effect of therapy on subjective anxiety. Yet, our results support that REM sleep can contribute to extinction processes and substantiate strong links between emotions in dreams and waking stress levels in these patients.
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In this investigation we explored how two dimensions underlying current models of psychopathology, threat sensitivity and executive cognitive processing, may come together to influence downstream responses to social threat. Specifically, we investigated how set-shifting ability influences responses to simulated peer-rejection in high threat sensitive individuals (n = 66) selected from a larger sample. Our findings suggest the possibility of risk-reducing benefits imparted from higher set-shifting and executive resources. In particular, we saw evidence of greater approach-related behavior, including higher intensity positive emotional expressions and a relative increase in the proportion of parasympathetic activity, with higher set-shifting. Our findings join a small but growing body of research examining how risks elevated by threat sensitivity may be mitigated by executive cognitive processing.
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Objective: The aim of this study is to examine social functioning in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and explore the psychological and neurophysiological predictors of social functioning. Methods: Twenty-seven patients with schizophrenia and thirty patients with bipolar disorder, as well as twenty-five healthy controls, completed measures of social functioning (questionnaire of social functioning), neurocognition (Verbal fluency, Korean-Auditory Verbal Learning Test), and social cognition (basic empathy scale and Social Attribution Task-Multiple Choice), and the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ). For neurophysiological measurements, mismatch negativity and heart rate variability (HRV) were recorded from all participants. Multiple hierarchical regression was performed to explore the impact of factors on social functioning. Results: The results showed that CTQ-emotional neglect significantly predicted social functioning in schizophrenia group, while HRV-high frequency significantly predicted social functioning in bipolar disorder patients. Furthermore, emotional neglect and HRV-HF still predicted social functioning in all of the subjects after controlling for the diagnostic criteria. Conclusion: Our results implicated that even though each group has different predictors of social functioning, early traumatic events and HRV could be important indicators of functional outcome irrespective of what group they are.
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This study explored self‐regulatory efforts during the viewing of couple interactions and their association with relationship satisfaction. High‐frequency heart rate variability (HF‐HRV) was measured for each participant during a video recall of a recent couple interaction to quantify the self‐regulatory processes governed by parasympathetic activity. Among 30 couples, HF‐HRV was measured continuously during three specific periods to explore its change over time using a video‐recall procedure: (1) resting state; (2) viewing of couple interactions (expressing daily life situations and conflictual interactions); and (3) recovery. Results of multilevel models revealed a u‐shaped pattern of HF‐HRV responses for men and women across the three periods with a nadir at the midway through the process. This pattern of physiological change (vagal suppression) reflects a flexible response to a stressful situation. Nevertheless, the pattern of physiological responses varied according to the level of relationship satisfaction. Men who were more satisfied in their couple relationship presented greater vagal suppression than dissatisfied men. In contrast, no significant HF‐HRV changes were found in women over the different periods of the video‐recall procedure and no moderating effect of relationship satisfaction. We discuss the different patterns of physiological responses observed both for men and women in terms of interindividual variability according to the level of their relationship satisfaction. The present study highlights the important role of relationship satisfaction in regulatory processes.
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Heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of the variability in intervals between subsequent heart beats, is now widely considered an index of emotion regulatory capacity and the ability to adapt flexibly to changing environmental demands. Abnormalities in HRV are implicated in a host of psychopathologies, making it a potentially powerful transdiagnostic biobehavioral change mechanism in treatment interventions. While most mental illnesses are associated with low HRV, eating disorders have been linked to elevated HRV. We examined 62 research articles on HRV in psychopathology to test the hypothesis that there is an “ideal range” of HRV that predicts optimal functioning. Relationships between symptom severity and parameters that quantify HRV were examined graphically. More extreme time-domain HRV measures, both high and low, were associated with psychopathology, whereas healthy controls displayed mid-range values. Findings preliminarily support the hypothesis that there is an “ideal range” of HRV that could be targeted in biofeedback interventions.
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Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) reactivity is thought to indicate how adaptively one responds to stress. RSA reactivity has been examined across anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to better understand the psychophysiological stress response of these disorders. The current state of the literature is mixed, and the association between RSA reactivity and PTSD/anxiety is unclear. This review examines RSA reactivity in response to laboratory stressor tasks across samples with anxiety and PTSD. Results indicated a complex literature that may suggest an association between anxiety/PTSD and RSA reactivity. There is evidence to suggest a pattern of heightened RSA withdrawal in PTSD and trait anxious samples. There was little evidence to suggest a heightened RSA withdrawal pattern in other anxiety disorders. This review also highlights methodological considerations which may allow for clearer interpretations of RSA reactivity. The current literature includes heterogeneity across stressor tasks, RSA measures, and comorbidities that complicates interpretation of results. Studies using samples with comorbid depression produce more consistent evidence of heightened RSA withdrawal in anxiety/PTSD. Future directions for understanding the contribution of these variables (i.e., stressor tasks, RSA measures, comorbid depression) and mechanisms contributing to the possible association between RSA reactivity and anxiety/PTSD are considered.
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Objective: Evidence suggests increased cardiovascular risk and autonomic impairment among individuals with chronic anxiety. Little attention, however, has been paid to the anxiety disorder of social phobia despite its high prevalence. Additionally, gender- and age-related cardiovascular profiles have not been examined in relation to social phobia. This study investigated cardiovascular responses to a socially threatening situation among older men and women with social phobia and control subjects. Methods: Thirty subjects with social phobia and 30 control subjects (mean age = 65 years) were assessed during baseline, paced breathing, speech preparation, and speech presentation. Electrocardiographic variables, blood pressure, respiration, and emotional state (self-reported) were monitored. Hemodynamic variables included heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, and systemic vascular resistance; autonomic measures were respiratory sinus arrhythmia and baroreflex sensitivity, both markers of cardiac vagal control, and 0.10-Hz systolic blood pressure variability, an index of sympathetic vasomotor tone. Results: Subjects with social phobia, in contrast to nonanxious control subjects, manifested more anxiety, embarrassment, and somatic complaints in response to stress; however, physiological measures generally did not distinguish groups. Interaction effects indicated that socially phobic women were hyperresponsive to the stressor with respect to self-reported, hemodynamic, and autonomic parameters. Socially phobic men manifested no physiological differences in comparison with control subjects, but they reported more psychological and somatic complaints. Conclusions: Gender differences in subjective and physiological responses to a socially threatening situation indicate congruence between perceived social anxiety and physiological responses in older women but not men. We found no evidence of impaired cardiovascular autonomic regulation among socially phobic men despite other reports that phobically anxious men are at greater cardiovascular risk.
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Given the relevance of child maltreatment for the development and treatment of many mental disorders, the objective of our study was the psychometric evaluation of the German version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). In a sample of psychiatric patients (N=1 524) the established factor structure (i. e. sexual, physical and emotional abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect) was replicated by means of confirmatory factor analysis. The internal consistency of all scales (apart from physical neglect) was high (Cronbachs alpha >/= 0.89). Correlations between the CTQ and self-report measures for posttraumatic stress, dissociation and general psychopathology were low to moderate. The psychometric properties of the German version of the CTQ were similar to the American original; it proved to be a reliable and valid screen for the retrospective assessment of child maltreatment. Language: en
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Background Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is widely thought to be characterized by heightened behavioral and limbic reactivity to socio-emotional stimuli. However, although behavioral findings are clear, neural findings are surprisingly mixed. Methods Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined behavioral and brain responses in a priori emotion generative regions of interest (amygdala and insula) in 67 patients with generalized SAD and in 28 healthy controls (HC) during three distinct socio-emotional tasks. We administered these socio-emotional tasks during one fMRI scanning session: 1) looming harsh faces (Faces); 2) videotaped actors delivering social criticism (Criticism); and 3) written negative self-beliefs (Beliefs). Results In each task, SAD patients reported heightened negative emotion, compared to HC. There were, however, no SAD versus HC differential brain responses in the amygdala and insula. Between-group whole-brain analyses confirmed no group differences in the responses of the amygdala and insula, and indicated different brain networks activated during each of the tasks. In SAD participants, social anxiety symptom severity was associated with increased BOLD signal in the left insula during the Faces task. Conclusions The similar responses in amygdala and insula in SAD and HC participants suggest that heightened negative emotion responses reported by patients with SAD may be related to dysfunction in higher cognitive processes (e.g., distorted appraisal, attention biases, or ineffective cognitive reappraisal). In addition, the findings of this study emphasize the differential effects of socio-emotional experimental tasks.
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Power spectral analysis of the beat-to-beat variations of heart rate or the heart period (R–R interval) has become widely used to quantify cardiac autonomic regulation (Appel et al., 1989; Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, 1996; Berntson et al., 1997; Denver et al., 2007; Thayler et al., 2010; Billman, 2011). This technique partitions the total variance (the “power”) of a continuous series of beats into its frequency components, typically identifying two or three main peaks: Very Low Frequency (VLF) <0.04 Hz, Low Frequency (LF), 0.04–0.15 Hz, and High Frequency (HF) 0.15–0.4 Hz. It should be noted that the HF peak is shifted to a higher range (typically 0.24–1.04 Hz) in infants and during exercise (Berntson et al., 1997). The HF peak is widely believed to reflect cardiac parasympathetic nerve activity while the LF, although more complex, is often assumed to have a dominant sympathetic component (Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, 1996; Berntson et al., 1997; Billman, 2011). Based upon these assumptions, Pagani and co-workers proposed that the ratio of LF to HF (LF/HF) could be used to quantify the changing relationship between sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve activities (i.e., the sympatho-vagal balance) (Pagani et al., 1984, 1986; Malliani et al., 1991) in both health and disease. However, this concept has been challenged (Kingwell et al., 1994; Koh et al., 1994; Hopf et al., 1995; Eckberg, 1997; Houle and Billman, 1999; Billman, 2011). Despite serious and largely under-appreciated limitations, the LF/HF ratio has gained wide acceptance as a tool to assess cardiovascular autonomic regulation where increases in LF/HF are assumed to reflect a shift to “sympathetic dominance” and decreases in this index correspond to a “parasympathetic dominance.” Therefore, it is vital to provide a critical assessment of the assumptions upon which this concept is based.
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Background: Musical performance is a skilled activity performed under intense pressure, thus is often a profound source of anxiety. In other contexts, anxiety and its concomitant symptoms of sympathetic nervous system arousal have been successfully ameliorated with HRV biofeedback (HRV BF), a technique involving slow breathing which augments autonomic and emotional regulatory capacity. Objective: This randomised-controlled study explored the impact of a single 30-minute session of HRV BF on anxiety in response to a highly stressful music performance. Methods: A total of 46 trained musicians participated in this study and were randomly allocated to a slow breathing with or without biofeedback or no-treatment control group. A 3 Group×2 Time mixed experimental design was employed to compare the effect of group before and after intervention on performance anxiety (STAI-S) and frequency domain measures of HRV. Results: Slow breathing groups (n=30) showed significantly greater improvements in high frequency (HF) and LF/HF ratio measures of HRV relative to control (n=15) during 5 minute recordings of performance anticipation following the intervention (effect size: η(2) =0.122 and η(2) =0.116, respectively). The addition of biofeedback to a slow breathing protocol did not produce differential results. While intervention groups did not exhibit an overall reduction in self-reported anxiety, participants with high baseline anxiety who received the intervention (n=15) displayed greater reductions in self-reported state anxiety relative to those in the control condition (n=7) (r=0.379). Conclusions: These findings indicate that a single session of slow breathing, regardless of biofeedback, is sufficient for controlling physiological arousal in anticipation of psychosocial stress associated with music performance and that slow breathing is particularly helpful for musicians with high levels of anxiety. Future research is needed to further examine the effects of HRV BF as a low-cost, non-pharmacological treatment for music performance anxiety.
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Context: Current behavioral measures poorly predict treatment outcome in social anxiety disorder (SAD). To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine neuroimaging-based treatment prediction in SAD. Objective: To measure brain activation in patients with SAD as a biomarker to predict subsequent response to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Design: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected prior to CBT intervention. Changes in clinical status were regressed on brain responses and tested for selectivity for social stimuli. Setting: Patients were treated with protocol-based CBT at anxiety disorder programs at Boston University or Massachusetts General Hospital and underwent neuroimaging data collection at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Patients: Thirty-nine medication-free patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for the generalized subtype of SAD. Interventions: Brain responses to angry vs neutral faces or emotional vs neutral scenes were examined with fMRI prior to initiation of CBT. Main Outcome Measures: Whole-brain regression analyses with differential fMRI responses for angry vs neutral faces and changes in Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale score as the treatment outcome measure. Results: Pretreatment responses significantly predicted subsequent treatment outcome of patients selectively for social stimuli and particularly in regions of higher-order visual cortex. Combining the brain measures with information on clinical severity accounted for more than 40% of the variance in treatment response and substantially exceeded predictions based on clinical measures at baseline. Prediction success was unaffected by testing for potential confounding factors such as depression severity at baseline. Conclusions: The results suggest that brain imaging can provide biomarkers that substantially improve predictions for the success of cognitive behavioral interventions and more generally suggest that such biomarkers may offer evidence-based, personalized medicine approaches for optimally selecting among treatment options for a patient.
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This study examined the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the brain–behavior mechanisms of self-referential processing in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Sixteen patients underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while encoding self-referential, valence, and orthographic features of social trait adjectives. Post-MBSR, 14 patients completed neuroimaging. Compared to baseline, MBSR completers showed (a) increased self-esteem and decreased anxiety, (b) increased positive and decreased nega-tive self-endorsement, (c) increased activity in a brain network related to attention regula-tion, and (d) reduced activity in brain systems implicated in conceptual-linguistic self-view. MBSR-related changes in maladaptive or distorted social self-view in adults diagnosed with SAD may be related to modulation of conceptual self-processing and attention regulation. Self-referential processing may serve as a functional biobehavioral target to measure the effects of mindfulness training. S ocial anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common and frequently debilitating condition character-ized by intense fear of evaluation in social or performance situations (Jefferys, 1997; Kessler et al., 1994). SAD has an early onset (Otto et al., 2001) and regularly precedes other anxiety, mood, and substance abuse/dependence disorders (Lampe, Salde, Issakidis, & Andrews, 2003; Matza, Revicki, Davidson, & Stewart, 2003). SAD is associated with significant distress and functional impairment in both work and social domains (Lochner et al., 2003; Rapee, 1995; Schneier et al., 1994) and typically persists unless treated (Clark & Wells, 1995). The early onset of SAD magnifies its impact, including increased school dropout (Van Ameringen, Mancini, & Farvolden, 2003), poor social integra-tion, and increased comorbid psychopathology (Lampe et al., 2003; Matza et al., 2003; Randall, Thomas, & Thevos, 2001).
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Describes the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and its relationships with measures of social functioning, self-esteem, emotionality, and sensitivity to others. 677 male and 667 female undergraduates served as Ss. Each of the 4 IRI subscales displayed a distinctive and predictable pattern of relationships with these measures, as well as with previous unidimensional empathy measures. Findings provide evidence for a multidimensional approach to empathy. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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Emotions are widely held to involve changes in experiential, behavioural, and physiological systems. It is not clear, however, just how tightly coupled these changes are during emotional responding. To examine this issue, we induced social anxiety in 47 high trait social anxiety (HTSA) and 50 low trait social anxiety (LTSA) participants using an impromptu speech paradigm. We assessed anxiety experience, behaviour, perceived physiological activation, and actual physiological activation. HTSA participants felt more anxious, perceived greater physiological activation, and exhibited more anxiety behaviour than LTSA participants. Unexpectedly, the two groups did not differ in objectively measured physiological responding. Internal analyses indicated that for both HTSA and LTSA participants, anxiety experience was associated with perceived physiological activation, but not with actual physiological responding. These results suggest that anxiety experience and perceived physiological activation may be less tightly coupled with actual physiological responses than is typically thought.
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A great challenge to the field of visual neuroscience is to understand how faces are encoded and represented within the human brain. Here we show evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for spatially distributed processing of the whole face and its components in face-sensitive human visual cortex. We used multi-class linear pattern classifiers constructed with a leave-one-scan-out verification procedure to discriminate brain activation patterns elicited by whole faces, the internal features alone, and the external head outline alone. Furthermore, our results suggest that whole faces are represented disproportionately in the fusiform cortex (FFA) whereas the building blocks of faces are represented disproportionately in occipitotemporal cortex (OFA). Faces and face components may therefore be organized with functional clustering within both the FFA and OFA, but with specialization for face components in the OFA and the whole face in the FFA.
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified spatially distinct face-selective regions in human cortex. These regions have been linked together to form the components of a cortical network specialized for face perception but the cognitive operations performed in each region are not well understood. In this paper, we review the evidence concerning one of these face-selective regions, the occipital face area (OFA), to better understand what cognitive operations it performs in the face perception network. Neuropsychological evidence and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies demonstrate the OFA is necessary for accurate face perception. fMRI and TMS studies investigating the functional role of the OFA suggest that it preferentially represents the parts of a face, including the eyes, nose, and mouth and that it does so at an early stage of visual perception. These studies are consistent with the hypothesis that the OFA is the first stage in a hierarchical face perception network in which the OFA represents facial components prior to subsequent processing of increasingly complex facial features in higher face-selective cortical regions.
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To facilitate a multidimensional approach to empathy the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) includes 4 subscales: Perspective-Taking (PT) Fantasy (FS) Empathic Concern (EC) and Personal Distress (PD). The aim of the present study was to establish the convergent and discriminant validity of these 4 subscales. Hypothesized relationships among the IRI subscales between the subscales and measures of other psychological constructs (social functioning self-esteem emotionality and sensitivity to others) and between the subscales and extant empathy measures were examined. Study subjects included 677 male and 667 female students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes at the University of Texas. The IRI scales not only exhibited the predicted relationships among themselves but also were related in the expected manner to other measures. Higher PT scores were consistently associated with better social functioning and higher self-esteem; in contrast Fantasy scores were unrelated to these 2 characteristics. High EC scores were positively associated with shyness and anxiety but negatively linked to egotism. The most substantial relationships in the study involved the PD scale. PD scores were strongly linked with low self-esteem and poor interpersonal functioning as well as a constellation of vulnerability uncertainty and fearfulness. These findings support a multidimensional approach to empathy by providing evidence that the 4 qualities tapped by the IRI are indeed separate constructs each related in specific ways to other psychological measures.
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Errors in Byline, Author Affiliations, and Acknowledgment. In the Original Article titled “Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication,” published in the June issue of the ARCHIVES (2005;62:617-627), an author’s name was inadvertently omitted from the byline on page 617. The byline should have appeared as follows: “Ronald C. Kessler, PhD; Wai Tat Chiu, AM; Olga Demler, MA, MS; Kathleen R. Merikangas, PhD; Ellen E. Walters, MS.” Also on that page, the affiliations paragraph should have appeared as follows: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Drs Kessler, Chiu, Demler, and Walters); Section on Developmental Genetic Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Merikangas). On page 626, the acknowledgment paragraph should have appeared as follows: We thank Jerry Garcia, BA, Sara Belopavlovich, BA, Eric Bourke, BA, and Todd Strauss, MAT, for assistance with manuscript preparation and the staff of the WMH Data Collection and Data Analysis Coordination Centres for assistance with instrumentation, fieldwork, and consultation on the data analysis. We appreciate the helpful comments of William Eaton, PhD, Michael Von Korff, ScD, and Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, PhD, on earlier manuscripts. Online versions of this article on the Archives of General Psychiatry Web site were corrected on June 10, 2005.
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We propose a general hypothesis that integrates affective and cognitive processing with neuroanatomy to explain anxiety pronenes. The premise is that individuals who are prone to anxiety show an altered interoceptive prediction signal, i.e., manifest augmented detection of the difference between the observed and expected body state. As a consequence, the increased prediction signal of a prospective aversive body state triggers an increase in anxious affect, worrisome thoughts and other avoidance behaviors. The anterior insula is proposed to play a key role in this process. Further testing of this model--which should include investigation of genetic and environmental influences--may lead to the development of novel treatments that attenuate this altered interoceptive prediction signal in patients with anxiety disorders.
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