NEW PAPER: Interoception and Heart Rate Variability in Gambling Disorder

Congrats to Dawn Kennedy, who has led on this first CGR publication on people with gambling problems recruited and tested in Vancouver (n = 50, half have slot machines as their problematic form). Please take a look if you’re interested in the role of physiological arousal and excitement in gambling. Rather than measuring arousal (as much previous research has done), we tested heart beat counting & body awareness as measures of ‘interoception’ – do gamblers differ in their sensitivity to body changes? We also examined heart rate variability as a measure of parasympathetic function: although we saw decreased HRV (RSA), this appeared to be driven by smoking, which is a common confound in people with gambling problems. Thanks to Caylee-Britt Goshko and Dawn Kennedy, who ran the test sessions, Eve Limbrick-Oldfield and Spencer Murch, who assisted with the analysis, and Barney Dunn (Exeter University, U.K.) who provided much expertise on interoception and psychophysiology over the years. Many thanks also to all the participants who took part!

Kennedy D, Goshko C-B, Murch WS, Limbrick-Oldfield E, Dunn BD, Clark L. Interoception and respiratory sinus arrhythmia in gambling disorder. Psychophysiology, 2019, e13333, doi: 10.1111/psyp.13333