The heart rate discrimination task: A psychophysical method to estimate the accuracy and precision of interoceptive beliefs.

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From: Biological Psychology(Vol. 168)
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 318 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Heart rate discrimination; Heartbeat tracking; Interoception; Psychophysics; Metacognition Highlights * Current interoception tasks conflate cardiac beliefs with accuracy. * We introduce a Bayesian method for estimating cardiac belief accuracy and precision. * Individuals underestimate their heart rate by - 7 BPM (95% CI [-8.6 -5.3]) on average. * Cardiac beliefs are associated with reduced precision and metacognitive insight. * The task and modelling tools are provided in the Python Cardioception Package. Abstract Interoception - the physiological sense of our inner bodies - has risen to the forefront of psychological and psychiatric research. Much of this research utilizes tasks that attempt to measure the ability to accurately detect cardiac signals. Unfortunately, these approaches are confounded by well-known issues limiting their validity and interpretation. At the core of this controversy is the role of subjective beliefs about the heart rate in confounding measures of interoceptive accuracy. Here, we recast these beliefs as an important part of the causal machinery of interoception, and offer a novel psychophysical "heart rate discrimination" method to estimate their accuracy and precision. By applying this task in 223 healthy participants, we demonstrate that cardiac interoceptive beliefs are more biased, less precise, and are associated with poorer metacognitive insight relative to an exteroceptive control condition. Our task, provided as an open-source python package, offers a robust approach to quantifying cardiac beliefs. Author Affiliation: (a) Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University, Denmark (b) Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University, Denmark (c) Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark (d) Cambridge Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom * Correspondence to: CFIN - Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience Universitetsbyen 3, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. Article History: Received 19 February 2021; Revised 19 November 2021; Accepted 2 December 2021 Byline: Nicolas Legrand [] (a,*), Niia Nikolova (a), Camile Correa (a), Malthe Brændholt (a), Anna Stuckert (a), Nanna Kildahl (a), Melina Vejlø (a), Francesca Fardo (a,b), Micah Allen (a,c,d)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A690121023