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See detailHigh blood pressure responders show largest increase in heartbeat perception accuracy after post-learning stress following a cardiac interoceptive learning task
Schenk, Lara; Fischbach, Jean T. M.; Müller, Ruta UL et al

in Biological Psychology (2020), 154(1), 107919

Mental disorders with physical symptoms, e.g. somatic symptom disorder, are characterized by altered interoceptive accuracy (IAc), which can be explained by individual differences in interoceptive ... [more ▼]

Mental disorders with physical symptoms, e.g. somatic symptom disorder, are characterized by altered interoceptive accuracy (IAc), which can be explained by individual differences in interoceptive learning (IL). We investigated if stress facilitates IL. Seventy-three healthy participants performed a heartbeat counting task (HCT: T1) and a heartbeat perception training (HBPT). After exposure to a socially-evaluated cold pressor stress test (SECPT; n=48) or a control condition (n=25), two more HCTs were performed (T2: 30 minutes after SECPT; T3: 24 h later). After the HBPT, all participants showed an increase in IAc. We separated the stress group into high vs. low systolic blood pressures (SBP) responders (n=24 each), with high SBP responders showing the largest IAc increases. Only SBP, but not cortisol responsiveness significantly predicted IAc increase from T1 to T2. Our results indicate that post-learning autonomic stress response facilitates IL, whereas the HPA axis response may be less important for this effect. [less ▲]

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See detailComment on "Zamariola et al., (2018), Interoceptive Accuracy Scores are Problematic: Evidence from Simple Bivariate Correlations"-The Empirical Data Base, the Conceptual Reasoning and the Analysis behind this Statement are Misconceived and do not Support the Authors' Conclusions.
Ainley, V.; Tsakiris, Emmanouil UL; Pollatos, O. et al

in Biological Psychology (2020), 152(1), 107870

A recent paper by Zamariola and colleagues is widely cited as an authority on the invalidity of the Heartbeat Counting Task as a measure of interoceptive accuracy. Given the widespread interest in this ... [more ▼]

A recent paper by Zamariola and colleagues is widely cited as an authority on the invalidity of the Heartbeat Counting Task as a measure of interoceptive accuracy. Given the widespread interest in this field, it is essential that papers about methods are conceptually sound. However, only one of the authors' four criticisms appears substantiated - that people count too few heartbeats. Their arguments about "simple bivariate correlations" and their finding that interoceptive accuracy and heart rate correlate, depend on 'spurious correlations' arising from the overlooked point that interoceptive accuracy is a ratio. Moreover, scrutiny of the authors' data shows that their fourth criticism (that interoceptive accuracy is lower on longer trials) is confounded by differences in mean heart rate between trials. We present data from our own labs to refute it. We draw the authors' and editors' attention to these issues and trust that they will reconsider these erroneous conclusions. [less ▲]

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See detailGastric modulation of startle eye blink
Schulz, André UL; Van Dyck; Lutz, Annika UL et al

in Biological Psychology (2017), 127(1), 25-33

Abstract: Previous assessment methods of gastric interoception either rely on self-reports, or imply invasive procedures. We investigated the reliability of startle methodology as a non-invasive ... [more ▼]

Abstract: Previous assessment methods of gastric interoception either rely on self-reports, or imply invasive procedures. We investigated the reliability of startle methodology as a non-invasive alternative for the assessment of afferent gastric signals. Twenty-four participants were tested on three separate days, on which they were requested to ingest water (either 0, 300 or 600 ml), after 8 h of fasting. On each assessment day, eye blink responses (EMG) to 10 acoustic startle stimuli (105 dB) were assessed at 4 measurement points (before, 0, 7, 14 min. after ingestion). Increased normogastric responses (EGG), ratings of satiety and fullness, and higher heart rate variability (RMSSD) suggested effective non-invasive induction of gastric distention. Startle responses were lower directly after ingestion of 600 ml as compared to earlier and later measurements. These results suggest that startle methodology provides a reliable method to investigate afferent gastric signals. It could be useful to study possible dissociations between subjective reports and objective afferent gastric signals in eating or somatoform disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailPolymorphisms of genes related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis influence the cortisol awakening response as well as self-perceived stress
Li-Tempel, T.; Larra, M. F.; Winnikes, U. et al

in Biological Psychology (2016), 119(1), 112-121

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a crucial endocrine system for coping with stress. A reliable and stable marker for the basal state of that system is the cortisol awakening response (CAR ... [more ▼]

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a crucial endocrine system for coping with stress. A reliable and stable marker for the basal state of that system is the cortisol awakening response (CAR). We examined the influence of variants of four relevant candidate genes; the mineralocorticoid receptor gene (MR), the glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR), the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) and the gene encoding the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on CAR and self-perceived stress in 217 healthy subjects. We found that polymorphisms of GR influenced both, the basal state of the HPA axis as well as self-perceived stress. MR only associated with self-perceived stress and 5-HTT only with CAR. BDNF did not affected any of the investigated indices. In summary, we suggest that GR variants together with the CAR and supplemented with self reports on perceived stress might be useful indicators for the basal HPA axis activity. [less ▲]

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See detailRelative breathless: Comparison with others can affect feelings of breathlessness.
Petersen, Sibylle UL; Van den Bergh, Omer

in Biological Psychology (2015), 104

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See detailAccuracy and awareness of perception: Related, yet distinct (commentary on Herbert et al., 2012)
Ceunen, Erik UL; Van Diest, Ilse; Vlaeyen, Johan

in Biological Psychology (2013), 92(2), 423-427

Herbert and colleagues (2012) state that changes in autonomic activity following a specific type of interoceptive sensation, intensifies general interoceptive awareness. This conclusion is being ... [more ▼]

Herbert and colleagues (2012) state that changes in autonomic activity following a specific type of interoceptive sensation, intensifies general interoceptive awareness. This conclusion is being critically examined and reformulated. A distinction is made between Interoceptive Awareness (IAw) and Interoceptive Accuracy (IAc); awareness not necessarily implying accuracy. Given the heterogeneity of interoceptive sensations, we emphasize to abstain from concluding that heartbeat perception tasks can be considered as a measure of OVERALL IAw or OVERALL IAc until this has been more elaborately investigated. Results are reinterpreted to indicate that homeostatic challenges which lead to an increase in ionotropic cardiac activity, lead to an increased cardioceptive accuracy, and perhaps increased cardioceptive awareness. However, the findings do not provide conclusive evidence that such challenges increase other types of IAc, nor that they increase OVERALL IAw. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether homeostatic challenges leading to negative inotropic cardiac activity, would similarly lead to changes in accuracy of heartbeat perception. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning to fear obstructed breathing: Comparing interoceptive and exteroceptive cues
Pappens, Meike; Van den Bergh, Omer; Vansteenwegen, Debora et al

in Biological Psychology (2013), 92(1), 36-42

The present study investigated interoceptive fear conditioning (IFC) to an interoceptive and exteroceptive conditional stimulus (CS) with a severe respiratory load applied for 30 s as the unconditional ... [more ▼]

The present study investigated interoceptive fear conditioning (IFC) to an interoceptive and exteroceptive conditional stimulus (CS) with a severe respiratory load applied for 30 s as the unconditional stimulus (US). CSs were another, weak respiratory load in the intero-IFC study (N = 74), and a neutral picture in the extero-IFC study (N = 42). CSs preceded the US in the paired groups, whereas the unpaired groups received the same number of unpaired CSs and USs. We measured startle blink EMG, self-reported fear and respiration. In the intero-IFC study, the CS-load was associated with larger startle blinks and a smaller decrease in respiratory rate and tidal volume in the paired compared to the unpaired group. In the extero-IFC study, the CS-picture evoked an increase in tidal volume and self-reported fear only in the paired group. In addition, startle potentiation during the CS-picture was greater for the paired than for the unpaired group. [less ▲]

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See detailCold pressor stress induces opposite effects on cardioceptive accuracy dependent on assessment paradigm
Schulz, André UL; Lass-Hennemann, Johanna; Sütterlin, Stefan UL et al

in Biological Psychology (2013), 93(1), 167-174

Interoception depends on visceral afferent neurotraffic and central control processes. Physiological arousal and organ activation provide the biochemical and mechanical basis for visceral afferent ... [more ▼]

Interoception depends on visceral afferent neurotraffic and central control processes. Physiological arousal and organ activation provide the biochemical and mechanical basis for visceral afferent neurotraffic. Perception of visceral symptoms occurs when attention is directed toward body sensations. Clinical studies suggest that stress contributes to the generation of visceral symptoms. However, during stress exposure attention is normally shifted away from bodily signals. Therefore, the net effects of stress on interoception remain unclear. We, therefore, investigated the impact of the cold pressor test or a control intervention (each n = 21) on three established laboratory paradigms to assess cardioceptive accuracy (CA): for the Schandry-paradigm, participants were asked to count heartbeats, while during the Whitehead-tasks subjects were asked to rate whether a cardiac sensation appeared simultaneously with an auditory or visual stimulus. CA was increased by stress when attention was focused on visceral sensations (Schandry), while it decreased when attention was additionally directed toward external stimuli (visual Whitehead). Explanations for these results are offered in terms of internal versus external deployment of attention, as well as specific effects of the cold pressor on the cardiovascular system. [less ▲]

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See detailA dimensional-categorical approach to the language of dyspnea
Petersen, Sibylle UL; von Leupoldt, Andreas; Ritz, Thomas

in Biological Psychology (2010), 83(1), 64-65

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See detailCardiac autonomic regulation and anger coping in adolescents
Vögele, Claus UL; Sorg, Sonja UL; Studtmann, Markus et al

in Biological Psychology (2010), (85), 465-471

The current study investigated spontaneous anger coping, cardiac autonomic regulation and phasic heart rate responses to anger provocation. Forty-five adolescents (27 female, mean age 14.7 years) attended ... [more ▼]

The current study investigated spontaneous anger coping, cardiac autonomic regulation and phasic heart rate responses to anger provocation. Forty-five adolescents (27 female, mean age 14.7 years) attended the single experimental session, which included monitoring of continuous heart rate and blood pressure responses to anger provocation (receiving an unfair offer) using a modified version of the Ultimatum Game (UG). Vagal activation was operationalized as high frequency component of heart rate variability during rest periods, and spontaneous baroreflex-sensitivity (SBR) during the UG. Adolescents employing cognitive reappraisal showed higher vagal activity under resting conditions and attenuated heart rate deceleration after receiving the unfair offer compared with participants who tended to ruminate about their anger and experienced injustice. Results from SBR suggested vagal withdrawal in anger ruminators during contemplation of the unfair offer. These results provide further support for the specificity and sensitivity of vagal responses to higher cortical functions such as emotion regulation. [less ▲]

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See detailLateralization effects on the cardiac modulation of acoustic startle eye blink
Schulz, André UL; Lass-Hennemann, J.; Richter, S. et al

in Biological Psychology (2009), 80(3), 287-291

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See detailAgentic extraversion as a predictor of effort-related cardiovascular response
Kemper, Christoph UL; Leue, A.; Wacker, J. et al

in Biological Psychology (2008), 78(2), 191-199

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