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2006 | 14 | 175-186

Article title

EMOTIONS AND HEART RATE CHANGES. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JAMES AND LANGE

Authors

Title variants

Languages of publication

PL

Abstracts

EN
The current article summarizes the series of experiment aimed at elucidating patterns of heart rate changes during emotional processing. In the first experiment we have strengthened existing evidence that changes in heart rate frequency are specific to the emotional state. We have shown that negative stimuli produce a prolonged heart rate slowing, while neutral stimuli produce only short heart rate decelerations, followed by a quick return towards the pre-stimulus heart rate levels. The second experiment was designed to provide insight in the brain structures engaged in producing this prolonged heart deceleration. The putative brain centre controlling the heart rate in emotions must be both involved in emotional appraisal and in the regulation of autonomic functions including heart rate. Research conducted by LeDoux and his colleagues have pointed to the amygdala, structure burried deeply in the temporal lobes. Using an animal model we have shown that the neuronal activity of the amygdala was correlated with the magnitude of heart rate deceleration in case of stimuli signalling threat (CS+), but not in case of stimuli signalling safety (CS-). Hence, we showed an involvement of the amygdala in inducing the 'late decelerative component' in a negative emotion. In the final experiment we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to disclose the topography of brain regions involved in heart rate regulation during emotionally induced arousal. We have shown that while during negative emotions heart rate changes are primarily activating the right amygdala, during positive emotions the amygdala is inactive while the hypothalamus clearly showed an increased activation Finally, we hypothesise that the prolonged deceleration observed in humans is a remnant of a generalised freezing reaction, which, although it is rarely seen contemporary human beings, is a common phenomenon in our predecessors.

Keywords

EN

Contributors

author
  • M. Kuniecki, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Instytut Psychologii, Zaklad Psychofizjologii, ul. Golebia 13, 31-007 Krak√≥w, Poland

References

Document Type

Publication order reference

Identifiers

CEJSH db identifier
06PLAAAA01743758

YADDA identifier

bwmeta1.element.e634ed19-ae7a-3800-a244-65ccc3cc31c9
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