Vagal activity is quadratically related to prosocial traits, prosocial emotions, and observer perceptions of prosociality.

  title={Vagal activity is quadratically related to prosocial traits, prosocial emotions, and observer perceptions of prosociality.},
  author={Aleksandr Kogan and Christopher Oveis and Evan W. Carr and June Gruber and Iris B. Mauss and amanda shallcross and E. Impett and Ilmo van der Lowe and Bryant Pui Hung Hui and Cecilia Cheng and Dacher Keltner},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  volume={107 6},
  • A. KoganC. Oveis D. Keltner
  • Published 22 September 2014
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Journal of personality and social psychology
In the present article, we introduce the quadratic vagal activity-prosociality hypothesis, a theoretical framework for understanding the vagus nerve's involvement in prosociality. We argue that vagus nerve activity supports prosocial behavior by regulating physiological systems that enable emotional expression, empathy for others' mental and emotional states, the regulation of one's own distress, and the experience of positive emotions. However, we contend that extremely high levels of vagal… 

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