From the APS Journal Archive: Listening to Your Heart : How Interoception Shapes Emotion Experience and Intuitive Decision Making

‘Listening to Your Heart : How Interoception Shapes Emotion Experience and Intuitive Decision Making’ by Barnaby D. Dunn1, Hannah C. Galton2, Ruth Morgan3, Davy Evans1, Clare Oliver1, Marcel Meyer4, Rhodri Cusack1, Andrew D.Lawrence4 and Tim Dalgleish1 was published in Psychological Science in November 2010 and has been cited 2 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full.

Abstract:

Theories proposing that how one thinks and feels is influenced by feedback from the body remain controversial. A central but untested prediction of many of these proposals is that how well individuals can perceive subtle bodily changes (interoception) determines the strength of the relationship between bodily reactions and cognitive-affective processing. In Study 1, we demonstrated that the more accurately participants could track their heartbeat, the stronger the observed link between their heart rate reactions and their subjective arousal (but not valence) ratings of emotional images. In Study 2, we found that increasing interoception ability either helped or hindered adaptive intuitive decision making, depending on whether the anticipatory bodily signals generated favored advantageous or disadvantageous choices. These findings identify both the generation and the perception of bodily responses as pivotal sources of variability in emotion experience and intuition, and offer strong supporting evidence for bodily feedback theories, suggesting that cognitive-affective processing does in significant part relate to “following the heart.”

1Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBSU), Cambridge, United Kingdom
2University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
3University College London
4Cardiff University

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