King's College London

Research portal

Estimating the stability of heartbeat counting in middle childhood: A twin study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number107764
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume148
Early online date10 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Documents

King's Authors

Abstract

There is growing interest in interoception, the perception of the body’s internal state, and its relevance for health across development. Most evidence linking interoception to health has used the heartbeat counting task. However, the temporal stability of the measure, particularly during childhood, and the etiological factors that underlie stability, remain largely unexamined. Using data from the ECHO twin sample we estimated the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on the stability of heartbeat counting across two years (age 8–10), the longest time-frame examined. Heartbeat counting accuracy was modestly correlated across time, (r = .35) and accuracy improved with age. Non-shared environmental factors accounted for the most variance at both time points and were the main contributors to temporal stability of heartbeat counting. Future research should seek to identify these non-shared environmental factors and elucidate whether this relatively modest stability reflects variability of interoception across development or unreliability of the heartbeat counting task.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454