Author: Villani V1, Tsakiris M2, Azevedo RT3
1Lab of Action Body, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
2Lab of Action Body, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK.
3Lab of Action Body, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK; School of Psychology, University of Kent, UK. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date published: 2019 Sep 25
Other: Volume ID: 107201 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107201. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 163
How can interoceptive accuracy, i.e. the objective ability to identify interoceptive signals, be improved? In the present study, we investigated whether non-invasive stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (taVNS) modulates cardiac interoceptive accuracy, interoceptive sensibility, i.e. confidence in the identification of bodily signals, and interoceptive awareness, i.e. the capacity to evaluate one's ability in the objective task. Using a single-blind within-subjects design we compared participants' performance on the heartbeat counting task and on the heartbeat discrimination task during active and sham taVNS stimulation. Results revealed improved accuracy during active taVNS on the heartbeat discrimination task but not on the heartbeat counting task. Participants were also more confident during active stimulation, but interoceptive awareness was not modulated by taVNS. These findings show that taVNS can modulate interoceptive processing and suggest its potential as a tool to investigate body-brain interactions.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
KEYWORDS: Interoception; Interoceptive accuracy; Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation; Vagus; tvns
PMID: 31562863 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107201