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      Listening to your heart. How interoception shapes emotion experience and intuitive decision making.

      Psychological Science
      Adult, Arousal, physiology, Biofeedback, Psychology, Cognition, Decision Making, Emotions, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Intuition, Male, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation

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          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."

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          Most cited references17

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          The somatic marker hypothesis: a critical evaluation.

          The somatic marker hypothesis (SMH; [Damasio, A. R., Tranel, D., Damasio, H., 1991. Somatic markers and the guidance of behaviour: theory and preliminary testing. In Levin, H.S., Eisenberg, H.M., Benton, A.L. (Eds.), Frontal Lobe Function and Dysfunction. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 217-229]) proposes that emotion-based biasing signals arising from the body are integrated in higher brain regions, in particular the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), to regulate decision-making in situations of complexity. Evidence for the SMH is largely based on performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; [Bechara, A., Tranel, D., Damasio, H., Damasio, A.R., 1996. Failure to respond autonomically to anticipated future outcomes following damage to prefrontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex 6 (2), 215-225]), linking anticipatory skin conductance responses (SCRs) to successful performance on a decision-making paradigm in healthy participants. These 'marker' signals were absent in patients with VMPFC lesions and were associated with poorer IGT performance. The current article reviews the IGT findings, arguing that their interpretation is undermined by the cognitive penetrability of the reward/punishment schedule, ambiguity surrounding interpretation of the psychophysiological data, and a shortage of causal evidence linking peripheral feedback to IGT performance. Further, there are other well-specified and parsimonious explanations that can equally well account for the IGT data. Next, lesion, neuroimaging, and psychopharmacology data evaluating the proposed neural substrate underpinning the SMH are reviewed. Finally, conceptual reservations about the novelty, parsimony and specification of the SMH are raised. It is concluded that while presenting an elegant theory of how emotion influences decision-making, the SMH requires additional empirical support to remain tenable.
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            The continuing problem of false positives in repeated measures ANOVA in psychophysiology: a multivariate solution.

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              Failure to Respond Autonomically to Anticipated Future Outcomes Following Damage to Prefrontal Cortex

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                21106893
                10.1177/0956797610389191

                Chemistry
                Adult,Arousal,physiology,Biofeedback, Psychology,Cognition,Decision Making,Emotions,Female,Heart Rate,Humans,Intuition,Male,Middle Aged,Photic Stimulation

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