Article: article from journal or magazin.
Autonomic nervous system reactivity within the valence-arousal affective space: Modulation by sex and age
International Journal of Psychophysiology
In the present study, we examined how sex and age shape cardiovascular, electrodermal, and pupillary reactivity to picture series within the valence-arousal affective space in a sample of 176 healthy younger, middle-aged, and older men and women. Across participants, heart rate (HR) decelerated with increasing self-reported unpleasantness, whereas skin conductance level (SCL) and pupil size (PS) increased with increasing self-rated arousal. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure increased with increasing self-rated arousal when valence was pleasant but much less when valence was unpleasant. Compared to women, men exhibited a stronger correlation between valence and HR and an SBP response characterized by larger increases for pleasant high-arousal states and lower change scores for unpleasant low- and high-arousal and pleasant low-arousal states. Men's largest SCL change scores were for pleasant high-arousal states, whereas women's largest SCL change scores were for unpleasant high-arousal states. The arousal-PS relationship was stronger among women, in particular for unpleasant series. From younger to older age, there were decreases in the strength of the valence-HR, arousal-SCL, and arousal-PS relationships. Older adults had larger overall increases in SBP and DBP than younger adults, but the relationships with self-reported valence and arousal were not age dependent. We discuss how the observed sex and age effects may reflect sex and age differences in emotional processing and in basic autonomic nervous system functioning.
Emotions, Age Factors, Sex Factors, Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena, Galvanic Skin Response
Web of science
Last modification date