Age-related changes of phasic heart rate responses to affective pictures

Anne-Marie Aupée, Peter Jönsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined age differences in phasic heart rate in response to neutral, negative and positive pictures. Heart rate changes and subjective ratings were analyzed in 22 middle-aged (40-55 years) and 30 older (56-78 years) participants. The effects of valence on the HR pattern across time were similar to that obtained by Bradley and co-workers. Conversely to previous studies, we did not report any age-related reduction in cardiac reactivity. Instead, when viewing positive pictures, the triphasic wave form appeared in the group of older adults, but for younger participants, it was replaced by a sustained deceleration. These results were interpreted in the light of the socioemotional selectivity theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Physiology (30106)
  • Psychology (50101)


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