Interoception Enhanced via the Ears?: A Quasi-Experimental Study of the Impact of Noise-Dampening Ear-Protectors on Heartbeat Perception

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Abstract

Heartbeat perception tasks are used to measure interoceptive accuracy. This paper explores the effect of reducing external auditory stimuli on heartbeat perception. Three samples (121 participants in total) performed a heartbeat perception task. Samples 1 and 2 wore ear-protectors and sample 3 did not. There were no differences in interoceptive accuracy between samples 1 and 2 but samples 1 and 2 showed significantly higher interoceptive accuracy than sample 3. These results suggest ear-protectors could be used to manipulate heartbeat perception and that the auditory component of heartbeat perception might be given greater consideration.

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