Age-related changes of phasic heart rate responses to affective pictures.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined age differences in phasic heart rate in response to neutral, negative and positive pictures. Heart rate changes and subjective ratings were analyzed in 22 middle-aged (40-55 years) and 30 older (56-78 years) participants. The effects of valence on the HR pattern across time were similar to that obtained by Bradley and co-workers. Conversely to previous studies, we did not report any age-related reduction in cardiac reactivity. Instead, when viewing positive pictures, the triphasic wave form appeared in the group of older adults, but for younger participants, it was replaced by a sustained deceleration. These results were interpreted in the light of the socioemotional selectivity theory.


  • Anne-Marie Aupée
  • Peter Jönsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch