Pretty much everyone has first-hand, experiential knowledge of the fact that emotions can affect your heart rate. When you're scared or excited, your heart pounds in your chest. When you're relaxed, your hear beat slows to match your mellow. But a growing body of research suggests the relationship is a two-way street.
A new study reveals that a high heart rate can actually intensify feelings of anxiety or fear, thanks to organic sensors in the blood vessels called baroreceptors. When heart rate and blood pressure increases, baroreceptors transmit this to the brain as a fear response. Heart rate can also affect how you perceive objects, faces and even time itself. Trace Dominguez has all the details in today's DNews report.
New Scientist: Half a Heartbeat Changes Our Response to Scary Images
Scientific American: How Your Heartbeat May Trick Your Senses
Frontiers: On the Origin of Interoception