This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant MH46861. This study was completed by C.V.W. under the supervision of S.R.V. in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master's degree. We thank Janice Kelly and Stephen Tiffany for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript, Robert Levenson for his constructive comments while serving as action editor for this paper, and Natalic Milbrandt, Steve Branson, and Jennifer Beckham for assistance in data collection.
Psychophysiological responses as indices of affective dimensions
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 32, Issue 5, pages 436–443, September 1995
How to Cite
VanOYEN WITVLIET, C. and VRANA, S. R. (1995), Psychophysiological responses as indices of affective dimensions. Psychophysiology, 32: 436–443. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1995.tb02094.x
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Received October 25, 1993; Accepted November 23, 1994)
- Reflex modulation;
- Skin conductance;
- Heart rate;
- Facial EMG
The startle reflex, facial electromyogram (EMG), and autonomic nervous system responses were examined during imagery varying in affective valence and arousal. Subjects (N= 48) imagined affective situations during tone-cued 8-strials. Startle blink magnitudes were larger and latencies faster during negatively valent than during positively valent conditions and during high-arousal than during low-arousal conditions. Greatest heart rate acceleration and fastest and largest skin conductance responses to startle probes occurred during high-arousal imagery. Zygomatic and orbicularis oculi facial muscle activities were higher during high-arousal imagery, whereas corrugator muscle activity was higher during low-arousal imagery. Zygomatic and corrugator activity also varied with emotional valence. The startle and facial EMG responses are most parsimoniously organized by the negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) dimensions, respectively. This NA/PA framework integrates previous research, dimensional theories of emotional behavior, and physiological assessment of pathological emotion.