Interoceptive accuracy predicts nonplanning trait impulsivity

Herman, Aleksandra M, Rae, Charlotte L, Critchley, Hugo D and Duka, Theodora (2019) Interoceptive accuracy predicts nonplanning trait impulsivity. Psychophysiology. ISSN 0048-5772

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Influential theories concerning personality argue that many impulsive individuals show physiological underarousal at rest. This interoceptive state is proposed to be egodystonic, motivating impulsive maladaptive actions to enhance arousal. However, there is little empirical research on this matter. The current study tested the relationship between physiological markers of arousal, measures of interoceptive (in)sensitivity, and trait impulsivity in a nonclinical sample of young adults. Experiment 1 investigated whether individuals (N = 31) with high trait impulsivity show decreased resting measures of arousal (indexed from heart rate, heart rate variability, and sympathetic electrodermal activity). Experiment 2 assessed whether trait impulsivity is linked to interoceptive abilities (N = 60). Overall, our results do not provide any compelling support for the underarousal theory of impulsivity. However, impaired interoceptive (cardiac discrimination) accuracy predicted the degree of Barratt nonplanning impulsivity, such that individuals with a better ability to distinguish between internal (bodily) and external signals manifest lower levels of nonplanning trait impulsivity. These findings open an avenue for potential novel interventions aimed at improving planning abilities via better interoceptive discrimination.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
School of Psychology > Psychology
Research Centres and Groups: Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
Sussex Neuroscience
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QP Physiology
Q Science > QZ Psychology
R Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Hugo Critchley
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 14:17
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 14:17

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