The relation between interoceptive accuracy, temperament and personality
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Interoception is defined as an afferent information that can be sensed anywhere from within the body. Interoceptive accuracy is an objective measure of detection of interoceptive signals. According to previous studies the differences between humans in experiencing intence emotions lies in their ability to accurately detect interoceptive signals. It seems that temperament and personality could be behind the differences as there is evidence that especially temperament has connection to emotionality and can be connected to neural systems that are also linked to interoception. We hypothesized that temperament is more likely to be related to interoception than personality and that temperament traits related to negative affectivity and anxiety are related to interoceptive accuracy. This study was part of a project on interoception that began in University of Jyväskylä’s psychology faculty in the autumn of 2015. There were 37 participants aged between 18-35. The interoceptive accuracy was tested with experimental setting including a heartbeat detection task. Participants were asked to attend to their own heartbeat and answer if the delivered audio signal matched their real-time heartbeat or not. 16 series of auditory signals were delivered, each of them containing 10 sounds. Each of the sounds were either synchronized to participants’ heartbeat or were delivered with a 500-millisecond delay. Personality and temperament were measured with questionnaires. The data was analyzed statistically with independent sample t-test, Pearson correlation and regression analysis. As we expected, interoception and temperament were connected but interoception and personality were not. The strongest connection was between interoception and factor scale effortful control and especially its subscale attention control. The second important link appeared between interoception and orienting sensitivity and its subscale associative sensitivity. Sadness also appeared to have some kind of connection to interoception and it had an effect on the connection between interoception and the sensitivity traits. It remains unclear whether level of interoceptive accuracy causes certain temperament traits or the traits cause the accuracy. ...
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