SATO Wataru Laboratory

Altered emotional mind-body coherence in older adults

(Saito, Sato, & Yoshikawa: Emotion)

Coherence between subjective experience and bodily responses in emotion is assumed to have a positive influence on well-being, which might be particularly valuable in late adulthood.
Previous studies of young adults' continuous subjective, behavioral, and physiological responses to emotional films reported emotional mind-body coherence.
In contrast, research regarding emotional coherence in older adults has been scarce.

In this study, we examined emotional coherence in older adults between continuous valence ratings and behavioral responses (facial electromyography [EMG] of the corrugator supercilii and zygomatic major muscles), as well as between continuous arousal ratings and physiological measures (electrodermal activity [EDA] and fingertip temperature), in response to four emotion-eliciting film clips (anger, sadness, contentment, and amusement) film clips and an emotionally neutral clip.

Intraindividual cross-correlation analyses revealed that the coherence between valence ratings and corrugator EMG activity for the anger-eliciting film was weaker in older adults than in young adults, who completed an identical experiment.
Age differences also emerged in the coherence of arousal ratings with EDA and fingertip temperature measures, respectively, while participants watched the anger-eliciting and contentment-eliciting films; while negative correlations were found for older adults, positive correlations were found for young adults.

These results indicate that emotional mind-body coherence somewhat differs quantitatively and qualitatively between older and young adults.

Return to Recent Research.
Return to Main Menu.