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Polyvagal theory well being

Gail A Alvares, Daniel S Quintana, Andrew H Kemp, Anita Van Zwieten, Bernard W Balleine, Ian B Hickie, Adam J Guastella
BACKGROUND: Polyvagal theory emphasizes that autonomic nervous system functioning plays a key role in social behavior and emotion. The theory predicts that psychiatric disorders of social dysfunction are associated with reduced heart rate variability, an index of autonomic control, as well as social inhibition and avoidance. The purpose of this study was to examine whether heart rate variability was reduced in treatment-seeking patients diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, a disorder characterized by social fear and avoidance...
2013: PloS One
Fay C M Geisler, Thomas Kubiak, Kerstin Siewert, Hannelore Weber
The polyvagal theory (Porges, 2007) represents a biobehavioral model that relates autonomic functioning to self-regulation and social engagement. The aim of the two presented studies was to test the proposed association of cardiac vagal tone (CVT), assessed via resting high-frequency heart rate variability (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA), with coping, emotion-regulation, and social engagement in young adults. In Study 1 (retrospective self-report), RSA was positively associated with engagement coping (situation control, response control, positive self-instructions, social-support seeking) and aspects of social well-being...
May 2013: Biological Psychology
Stephen W Porges
This article focuses on the importance of social engagement and the behavioral and neurophysiological mechanisms that allow individuals to reduce psychological and physical distance. A model of social engagement derived from the Polyvagal Theory is presented. The model emphasizes phylogeny as an organizing principle and includes the following points: (1) there are well-defined neural circuits to support social engagement behaviors and the defensive strategies of fight, flight, and freeze; (2) these neural circuits form a phylogenetically organized hierarchy; (3) without being dependent on conscious awareness, the nervous system evaluates risk in the environment and regulates the expression of adaptive behavior to match the neuroception of a safe, dangerous, or life-threatening environment; (4) social engagement behaviors and the benefits of the physiological states associated with social support require a neuroception of safety; (5) social behaviors associated with nursing, reproduction, and the formation of strong pair bonds require immobilization without fear; and (6) immobilization without fear is mediated by a co-opting of the neural circuit regulating defensive freezing behaviors through the involvement of oxytocin, a neuropeptide in mammals involved in the formation of social bonds...
December 2003: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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