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The Effect of Emotional Valence on Ventricular Repolarization Dynamics Is Mediated by Heart Rate Variability: A Study of QT Variability and Music-Induced Emotions

Orini, M; Al-Amodi, F; Koelsch, S; Bailon, R; (2019) The Effect of Emotional Valence on Ventricular Repolarization Dynamics Is Mediated by Heart Rate Variability: A Study of QT Variability and Music-Induced Emotions. Frontiers in Physiology , 10 , Article 1465. 10.3389/fphys.2019.01465. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Emotions can affect cardiac activity, but their impact on ventricular repolarization variability, an important parameter providing information about cardiac risk and autonomic nervous system activity, is unknown. The beat-to-beat variability of the QT interval (QTV) from the body surface ECG is a non-invasive marker of repolarization variability, which can be decomposed into QTV related to RR variability (QTVrRRV) and QTV unrelated to RRV (QTVuRRV), with the latter thought to be a marker of intrinsic repolarization variability. Aim: To determine the effect of emotional valence (pleasant and unpleasant) on repolarization variability in healthy volunteers by means of QTV analysis. Methods: 75 individuals (24.5 ± 3.2 years, 36 females) without a history of cardiovascular disease listened to music-excerpts that were either felt as pleasant (n = 6) or unpleasant (n = 6). Excerpts lasted about 90 s and were presented in a random order along with silent intervals (n = 6). QTV and RRV were derived from the ECG and the time-frequency spectrum of RRV, QTV, QTVuRRV and QTVrRRV as well as timefrequency coherence between QTV and RRV were estimated. Analysis was performed in low-frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and total spectral bands. Results: The heart rate-corrected QTV showed a small but significant increase from silence (median 347/interquartile range 31 ms) to listening to music felt as unpleasant (351/30 ms) and pleasant (355/32 ms). The dynamic response of QTV to emotional valence showed a transient phase lasting about 20 s after the onset of each musical excerpt. QTV and RRV were highly correlated in both HF and LF (mean coherence ranging 0.76–0.85). QTV and QTVrRRV decreased during listening to music felt as pleasant and unpleasant with respect to silence and further decreased during listening to music felt as pleasant. QTVuRRV was small and not affected by emotional valence. Conclusion: Emotional valence, as evoked by music, has a small but significant effect on QTV and QTVrRRV, but not on QTVuRRV. This suggests that the interaction between emotional valence and ventricular repolarization variability is mediated by cycle length dynamics and not due to intrinsic repolarization variability.

Type: Article
Title: The Effect of Emotional Valence on Ventricular Repolarization Dynamics Is Mediated by Heart Rate Variability: A Study of QT Variability and Music-Induced Emotions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01465
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01465
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Physiology, QT variability, heart rate variability, repolarization, music-induced emotions, emotional valence, time-frequency, ACTION-POTENTIAL DURATION, INTERVAL VARIABILITY, MENTAL STRESS, T-WAVE, ALTERNANS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091622
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