Poster D11, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Age-related changes of interoception, insula cortex, and emotional sensitivity
Yuri Terasawa1, Satoshi Umeda1; 1Department of Psychology, Keio University
Interoceptive accuracy is defined as the accuracy for detecting internal bodily sensations. The accuracy relates sensitivity to the emotions of self and others. Although a previous study reported that the accuracy declines with age, it is still unclear whether the declination associates with changes in emotional experience along with aging. In this study, thirty five older adults participated (mean 59.7 years ±6.1). 17 out of 35 participants were involved in an MRI study. 30 undergraduate and graduate students also participated as younger adults. When compared performance of the heartbeat perception task and the emotional sensitivity task between younger and older adult groups, the older group showed significantly lower interoceptive accuracy. Participants who showed higher interoceptive accuracy showed lower ability for detecting emotions from subtle facial expressions of emotion. Interestingly, adverse relationship was observed in younger group. In older group, we conducted Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM) analysis to examine the neural correlates supporting the relationship between interoceptive accuracy and emotional sensitivity. Insula cortex was set as the Region of Interest and negative correlations were observed between sensitivity to anger expression and gray matter volume of bilateral insula cortex after controlling for age. Our findings suggest to consider the change in interoceptive accuracy based on insular degeneration for understanding effects of aging on emotional experience.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Development & aging