SATO Wataru Laboratory
Inhibition of emotion-related autonomic arousal by skin pressure
Negative emotions can cause discomforting autonomic arousal, which can be difficult to inhibit using willpower alone.
Although previous physiological studies have reported that skin pressure at certain bilateral locations reflexively inhibits sympathetic nervous system activity, few studies have tested the effect of this inhibition on emotion-related autonomic arousal in humans.
I recorded skin potential response (SPR) and heart rate (HR) in healthy participants in response to loud noises presented concomitantly with or without skin pressure applied bilaterally to the sides of the chest.
Weaker SPR and lower HR were observed in response to the noises accompanied by skin pressure.
These findings indicate that skin pressure can be an easy and effective method to inhibit autonomic arousal related to negative emotions.