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It does not need two: assessing physiological linkage from videos across the valence dimension

Wingenbach, T. S.H. ORCID:, Peyk, P. and Pfaltz, M. C. (2023) It does not need two: assessing physiological linkage from videos across the valence dimension. Psychophysiology, 60 (9). e14317. ISSN 1469-8986

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/psyp.14317


The phenomenon of physiological linkage describes similar fluctuations of two individuals' physiology, for example, the cardiac inter-beat interval (IBI). Physiological linkage is a well-documented occurrence in research settings of interacting dyads but the literature on non-interacting dyads, that is, someone watching a video of another person, is sparse. The current study investigated whether physiological linkage, based on IBI, occurs from watching videos where strangers report about personal (neutral, positive, negative non-traumatic, and negative traumatic) experiences. Videos were produced with six individuals and then presented to observers (N = 26). Time-frequency-domain cross-wavelet analyses supplemented by threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE; to account for multiple testing) showed significant physiological linkage between the IBI of observers and persons in the videos for 16 out of the 21 tested videos. Although significant physiological linkage also emerged for neutral videos and positive, negative valence videos led to such associations more reliably. This study shows that physiological linkage can be investigated in highly controlled conditions based on video stimuli paving the path for experimental manipulation in future research. Furthermore, due to the provision of information on time and frequency, the use of cross-wavelet analysis is encouraged to learn more about factors modulating physiological linkage. The current study presents the next step toward identifying psychophysiological causal and modulating factors of physiological linkage.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:114267


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