The heart has its reasons: Exploring the role of the heart during an intuitive decision making process.

E. Lobach, D. Bierman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


    The heart has its reasons: Exploring the role of the heart during an intuitive decision making process Eva Lobach & Dick Bierman University of Amsterdam, University for Humanistics According to Damasio, decision making is at least partly directed by unconscious processes, involving signals from skin, gut, and heart. We used an artificial grammar task with trial by trial decisions and feedback to explore the relation between intuitive decision making and interoception (sensitivity to one’s own physiology), as measured in a heartbeat detection task. In addition we related real-time heartbeat-to-heartbeat intervals to type of decision (correct or incorrect). Participants (60, 40 f, 20 m) also filled out an intuition questionnaire, to establish whether this measure of intuition was related to implicit learning ability and interoception. Twenty (9 women) participants were classified as heartbeat detectors. Despite higher sensitivity to their own heartbeat, detectors did not differ significantly from non-detectors on the artificial grammar task nor on the intuition questionnaire. Interestingly, explorative analyses showed that ‘detectors’ agreed significantly more strongly with contra-indicative intuition statements like ‘I believe my success is determined by how well I carry out procedures’, suggesting a relationship between feeling your heartbeat and strategies for keeping fear in check. Heartbeat measurements during the implicit learning task suggest that an option is more likely to be chosen when the inter-heartbeat interval following that particular stimulus-option is shorter than the inter-heartbeat interval during which the stimulus is presented, indicating a relation between a specific heartrate response and actual decisions.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2007
    Event11th NVP Winter Conference -
    Duration: 14 Dec 2007 → …


    Conference11th NVP Winter Conference
    Period14/12/07 → …

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