Exploring the relationship between vagal tone and event-related potentials in response to an affective picture task

Michele Dufey, Esteban Hurtado, Ana María Fernández, Facundo Manes, Agustín Ibáñez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study is the first to investigate the relationship between vagal tone level and event-related potentials (ERPs) in adults. Numerous studies have shown a relationship between vagal tone and the individual differences between a variety of psychophysiological, affective, and social outcomes. This suggests that vagal tone can be related to how people process relevant affective social information at the brain level. This study aimed to assess whether the ERP response varies between high and low vagal tone groups, in the face of salient affective information. In the experimental cohort, two groups were separated according to their vagal tone level. ERPs were recorded while individuals performed an affective picture task that included positive, neutral, and negative emotional stimuli. Differences between the high and low vagal tone groups were observed at the early posterior negativity for both positive and negative valences, and at the late positive potential for all the categories. It can be concluded that differences between high and low vagal tone levels are related to differences in the ERPs at early, middle, and late latencies. The results are discussed with respect to the effect of differences between the vagal tone conditions on various stages of information-processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affective social information
  • EPN
  • ERPs
  • IAPS
  • LPP
  • P1
  • Peripheral-central relationship
  • Vagal tone

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