Stephen Porges

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Components of heart rate variability have attracted considerable attention in psychology and medicine and have become important dependent measures in psychophysiology and behavioral medicine. Quantification and interpretation of heart rate variability, however, remain complex issues and are fraught with pitfalls. The present report (a) examines the(More)
The polyvagal theory introduced a new perspective relating autonomic function to behavior, that included an appreciation of the autonomic nervous system as a "system," the identification of neural circuits involved in the regulation of autonomic state, and an interpretation of autonomic reactivity as adaptive within the context of the phylogeny of the(More)
The evolution of the autonomic nervous system provides an organizing principle to interpret the adaptive significance of physiological responses in promoting social behavior. According to the polyvagal theory, the well-documented phylogenetic shift in neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system passes through three global stages, each with an(More)
The vagus, the 10th cranial nerve, contains pathways that contribute to the regulation of the internal viscera, including the heart. Vagal efferent fibers do not originate in a common brainstem structure. The Polyvagal Theory is introduced to explain the different functions of the two primary medullary source nuclei of the vagus: the nucleus ambiguus (NA)(More)
Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA), heart rate, and accuracy and latency of emotion recognition were evaluated in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing children while viewing videos of faces slowly transitioning from a neutral expression to one of six basic emotions (e.g., anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and(More)
Cardiac vagal tone is proposed as a novel index of stress and stress vulnerability in mammals. A model is described that emphasizes the role of the parasympathetic nervous system and particularly the vagus nerve in defining stress. The model details the importance of a branch of the vagus originating in the nucleus ambiguus. In mammals the nucleus ambiguus(More)
The scientific legacy of Paul MacLean provides important insights into the neural substrate of adaptive social behavior in mammals. Through his research and visionary conceptualizations, current investigators can legitimately study social behavior from a neurobiological perspective. His research and writings provided three important contributions. First, he(More)
Cardiac vagal tone is a construct that describes the functional relationship between the brainstem and the heart. Cardiac vagal tone is measured by quantifying the amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia, a component of heart rate variability reflecting the functional output of vagal pathways on the heart. Although there is an extensive literature(More)
This article focuses on the importance of social engagement and the behavioral and neurophysiological mechanisms that allow individuals to reduce psychological and physical distance. A model of social engagement derived from the Polyvagal Theory is presented. The model emphasizes phylogeny as an organizing principle and includes the following points: (1)(More)
The neurobiology of social behaviour is interwoven with autonomic, endocrine and other homoeostatic processes responsible for the adaptive functions of reproduction and survival. Young mammals are dependent on their mothers for nourishment, and the interaction between the mother and infant may be a physiological and neuroendocrine prototype for mammalian(More)