Skip to main content

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improves Interoceptive Accuracy

Villani, V., Tsakiris, M., Azevedo, R.T. (2019) Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improves Interoceptive Accuracy. Neuropsychologia, 134 . Article Number 107201. ISSN 0028-3932. (doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107201) (KAR id:76970)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Download (630kB) Preview
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S002839321930243X-main.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL


How can interoceptive accuracy, i.e. the objective ability to identify interoceptive signals, be improved? In the present study, we investigated whether non-invasive stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (taVNS) modulates cardiac interoceptive accuracy, interoceptive sensibility, i.e. confidence in the identification of bodily signals, and interoceptive awareness, i.e. the capacity to evaluate one's ability in the objective task. Using a single-blind within-subjects design we compared participants' performance on the heartbeat counting task and on the heartbeat discrimination task during active and sham taVNS stimulation. Results revealed improved accuracy during active taVNS on the heartbeat discrimination task but not on the heartbeat counting task. Participants were also more confident during active stimulation, but interoceptive awareness was not modulated by taVNS. These findings show that taVNS can modulate interoceptive processing and suggest its potential as a tool to investigate body-brain interactions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107201
Uncontrolled keywords: Interoception, Transcutaneous, vagus nerve, stimulation, tvnsVagus, Interoceptive accuracy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Ruben Andre Teixeira Azevedo
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 14:41 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Azevedo, R.T.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year