Annie Ginty is funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the AXA Research Fund.
Blunted cardiac stress reactivity relates to neural hypoactivation
Article first published online: 25 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 219–229, March 2013
How to Cite
Ginty, A. T., Gianaros, P. J., Derbyshire, S. W. G., Phillips, A. C. and Carroll, D. (2013), Blunted cardiac stress reactivity relates to neural hypoactivation. Psychophysiology, 50: 219–229. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12017
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 25 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 JUL 2012
- Heart rate;
- Stress reactivity;
The present study compared neural activity in participants with blunted (N = 9) or exaggerated (N = 8) cardiac stress reactions. Neural activity was recorded with fMRI while participants performed a validated stress task and control task. Exaggerated reactors exhibited significant increases in heart rate from control to stress task, whereas blunted reactors had no change in heart rate. Blunted reactors also had reduced activation in the anterior midcingulate cortex and insula compared to exaggerated reactors during the stress condition, and a greater deactivation in the amygdala and posterior cingulate. The biological differences between groups in response to the stress task could not be explained by subjective measures of engagement, stressfulness, or difficulty. This study supports the notion that blunted peripheral physiological stress reactivity may be a marker of a corresponding under-recruitment of brain systems during behavioral states requiring motivated action.