Multidimensional Cardioception and Trait Anxiety: Potential Clues from Baroreflex Sensitivity
Grant, Shara Soyini
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Interoception, the perception of the body's physiological state, is often studied in relation to emotion processing. Particularly, cardioception has been largely implicated in anxiety. Three related but distinct dimensions of interoception have recently emerged in the literature: sensibility (IS), accuracy (IAC), and awareness (IAW). Divergent findings regarding interoception and anxiety may result from lacking appreciation for interoceptive dimensions. Additionally, the role of cardiovascular afferent feedback in anxiety and interoception is largely unknown. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) has been implicated in interoceptive processes yet no known research directly measures this in relation to multidimensional cardioception. The present study aimed to assess the degree to which IS, IAC, IAW, and BRS predict trait anxiety at rest and during anticipatory anxiety. Results partially suggest increased IAC and BRS, but more variable IS and IAW in relation to trait anxiety. Overall, results show complex associations among factors, suggesting increased specificity among the constructs. Results highlight the importance of attention to construct validity and method variance in the study of interoceptive subdomains. Finally, the present study helps to pave the way for continued investigations concerning cardioception in enduring anxiety and the related role of the baroreflex in cardiac afferent processes.
- Doctoral Dissertations