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Participants' above-chance recognition of own-heart sound combined with poor metacognitive awareness suggests implicit knowledge of own heart cardiodynamics


Azevedo, Ruben T; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria; Lenggenhager, Bigna (2016). Participants' above-chance recognition of own-heart sound combined with poor metacognitive awareness suggests implicit knowledge of own heart cardiodynamics. Scientific Reports, 6(1):6:26545.

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggests that interoceptive signals are fundamentally important for the experience of the self. Thus far, studies on interoception have mainly focused on the ability to monitor the timing of ongoing heartbeats and on how these influence emotional and self-related processes. However, cardiac afferent signalling is not confined to heartbeat timing and several other cardiac parameters characterize cardiodynamic functioning. Building on the fact that each heart has its own self-specific cardio-dynamics, which cannot be expressed uniquely by heart rate, we devised a novel task to test whether people could recognize the sound of their own heart even when perceived offline and thus not in synchrony with ongoing heartbeats. In a forced-choice paradigm, participants discriminated between sounds of their own heartbeat (previously recorded with a Doppler device) versus another person’s heart. Participants identified the sound of their own heart above chance, whereas their metacognition of performance – as calculated by contrasting performance against ratings of confidence - was considerably poorer. These results suggest an implicit access to fine-grained neural representations of elementary cardio-dynamic parameters beyond heartbeat timing.

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggests that interoceptive signals are fundamentally important for the experience of the self. Thus far, studies on interoception have mainly focused on the ability to monitor the timing of ongoing heartbeats and on how these influence emotional and self-related processes. However, cardiac afferent signalling is not confined to heartbeat timing and several other cardiac parameters characterize cardiodynamic functioning. Building on the fact that each heart has its own self-specific cardio-dynamics, which cannot be expressed uniquely by heart rate, we devised a novel task to test whether people could recognize the sound of their own heart even when perceived offline and thus not in synchrony with ongoing heartbeats. In a forced-choice paradigm, participants discriminated between sounds of their own heartbeat (previously recorded with a Doppler device) versus another person’s heart. Participants identified the sound of their own heart above chance, whereas their metacognition of performance – as calculated by contrasting performance against ratings of confidence - was considerably poorer. These results suggest an implicit access to fine-grained neural representations of elementary cardio-dynamic parameters beyond heartbeat timing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:25 Sep 2017 11:43
Last Modified:26 Sep 2017 11:13
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/srep26545

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