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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

This study employed a series of heartbeat perception tasks to assess the hypothesis that cardiac interoceptive processing in individuals with depression/anxiety (N = 221), and substance use disorders (N = 136) is less flexible than that of healthy individuals (N = 53) in the context of physiological perturbation. Cardiac interoception was assessed via heartbeat tapping when: (1) guessing was allowed; (2) guessing was not allowed; and (3) experiencing an interoceptive perturbation (inspiratory breath hold) expected to amplify cardiac sensation. Healthy participants showed performance improvements across the three conditions, whereas those with depression/anxiety and/or substance use disorder showed minimal improvement. Machine learning analyses suggested that individual differences in these improvements were negatively related to anxiety sensitivity, but explained relatively little variance in performance. These results reveal a perceptual insensitivity to the modulation of interoceptive signals that was evident across several common psychiatric disorders, suggesting that interoceptive deficits in the realm of psychopathology manifest most prominently during states of homeostatic perturbation.

Smith Ryan, Feinstein Justin S, Kuplicki Rayus, Forthman Katherine L, Stewart Jennifer L, Paulus Martin P, Khalsa Sahib S

2021-Jan-22