Resting RSA is associated with natural and self-regulated responses to negative emotional stimuli.
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Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was assessed among 111 adult participants. These individuals were then asked to watch a positive or negative affective film in either a natural manner or while exaggerating their facial response. Facial reactions to the film were video-recorded and subsequently rated in terms of facial affect. Participants also self-reported the valence of their emotional experience. Results from regression analyses revealed that persons with low resting RSA behaviorally evidenced a more negative facial response to the negative film under natural-watch conditions. Low RSA individuals were also less able to modulate (i.e., amplify) their facial response to the negative film. In terms of self-report measures, persons in the exaggerate condition reported more positive affect to the positive film than did those in the natural-watch condition. Results suggest that cardiac vagal control is inversely associated with negative facial expression but positively associated with facial regulation ability to negative stimuli.
author list (cited authors)
Demaree, H. A., Robinson, J. L., Everhart, D. E., & Schmeichel, B. J
complete list of authors
Demaree, Heath A||Robinson, Jennifer L||Everhart, D Erik||Schmeichel, Brandon J