What the heart forgets: Cardiac timing influences memory for words and is modulated by metacognition and interoceptive sensitivity

Sarah N. Garfinkel, Adam B. Barrett, Ludovico Minati, Raymond J. Dolan, Anil K. Seth, Hugo D. Critchley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mental functions are influenced by states of physiological arousal. Afferent neural activity from arterial baroreceptors at systole conveys the strength and timing of individual heartbeats to the brain. We presented words under limited attentional resources time-locked to different phases of the cardiac cycle, to test a hypothesis that natural baroreceptor stimulation influences detection and subsequent memory of words. We show memory for words presented around systole was decreased relative to words at diastole. The deleterious memory effect of systole was greater for words detected with low confidence and amplified in individuals with low interoceptive sensitivity, as indexed using a heartbeat counting task. Our observations highlight an important cardiovascular channel through which autonomic arousal impacts a cognitive function, an effect mitigated by metacognition (perceptual confidence) and interoceptive sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Systole
Pressoreceptors
Arousal
Diastole
Cognition
Brain
Metacognition
Confidence

Keywords

  • Baroreceptor
  • Cognition
  • ECG/EKG
  • Interoception
  • Learning/Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Garfinkel, S. N., Barrett, A. B., Minati, L., Dolan, R. J., Seth, A. K., & Critchley, H. D. (2013). What the heart forgets: Cardiac timing influences memory for words and is modulated by metacognition and interoceptive sensitivity. Psychophysiology, 50(6), 505-512. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12039

What the heart forgets : Cardiac timing influences memory for words and is modulated by metacognition and interoceptive sensitivity. / Garfinkel, Sarah N.; Barrett, Adam B.; Minati, Ludovico; Dolan, Raymond J.; Seth, Anil K.; Critchley, Hugo D.

In: Psychophysiology, Vol. 50, No. 6, 06.2013, p. 505-512.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Garfinkel, Sarah N. ; Barrett, Adam B. ; Minati, Ludovico ; Dolan, Raymond J. ; Seth, Anil K. ; Critchley, Hugo D. / What the heart forgets : Cardiac timing influences memory for words and is modulated by metacognition and interoceptive sensitivity. In: Psychophysiology. 2013 ; Vol. 50, No. 6. pp. 505-512.
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