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  Helping from the heart: Voluntary upregulation of heart rate variability predicts altruistic behavior

Bornemann, B., Kok, B. E., Böckler, A., & Singer, T. (2016). Helping from the heart: Voluntary upregulation of heart rate variability predicts altruistic behavior. Biological Psychology, 119, 54-63. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.07.004.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-039D-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-039E-7
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bornemann, Boris1, Author              
Kok, Bethany E.1, Author              
Böckler, Anne1, 2, Author              
Singer, Tania1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              
2Department of Psychology, Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Vagus; Parasympathetic nervous system; Vagal flexibility; Heart rate variability; Biofeedback; Regulation; Altruism; Prosocial behavior
 Abstract: Our various daily activities continually require regulation of our internal state. These regulatory processes covary with changes in High Frequency Heart Rate Variability (HF-HRV), a marker of parasympathetic activity. Specifically, incidental increases in HF-HRV accompany positive social engagement behavior and prosocial action. Little is known about deliberate regulation of HF-HRV and the role of voluntary parasympathetic regulation in prosocial behavior. Here, we present a novel biofeedback task that measures the ability to deliberately increase HF-HRV. In two large samples, we find that a) participants are able to voluntarily upregulate HF-HRV, and b) variation in this ability predicts individual differences in altruistic prosocial behavior, but not non-altruistic forms of prosociality, assessed through 14 different measures. Our findings suggest that self-induction of parasympathetic states is involved in altruistic action. The biofeedback task may provide a measure of deliberate parasympathetic regulation, with implications for the study of attention, emotion, and social behavior.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-06-302016-02-262016-07-012016-07-022016-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.07.004
PMID: 27381930
Other: Epub 2016
 Degree: -

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Title: Biological Psychology
  Other : Biol. Psychol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: -
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 119 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 54 - 63 Identifier: ISSN: 0301-0511
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925509377