Integrating dynamic and developmental time scales: Emotion-specific autonomic coordination predicts baseline functioning over time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autonomic nervous system activity flexibly shifts and modulates behavior at multiple time scales, with some work suggesting that patterns of short-term reactivity contribute to long-term developmental change. However, previous work has largely considered sympathetic and parasympathetic systems independently, even though both systems contribute dynamically to the regulation of physiological arousal. Using physiological data obtained from 313 children in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade we examined whether within-person autonomic coordination during an emotion-inducing film task in kindergarten was associated with developmental change in resting autonomic activity. On average, these kindergarteners exhibited reciprocal coordination during the approach-oriented emotion (angry, happy) condition and a lack of coordination during the avoidance-oriented emotion (fear, sad) condition. Alignment with these patterns was associated with more typical autonomic development, specifically an increase in resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and a decrease in resting skin conductance (SCR) from kindergarten to 2nd grade; while lack of coordination during the approach condition was associated with a relatively delayed increase in resting RSA and a steeper decline in SCR, and reciprocal coordination during the avoidance condition was associated with a lack of RSA increase. Findings highlight the need for additional consideration of how moment-to-moment dynamics of autonomic coordination influence longer-term development, and suggest that early patterns of atypical arousal may portend dysregulation of developing physiological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume171
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating dynamic and developmental time scales: Emotion-specific autonomic coordination predicts baseline functioning over time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this