Heart rate variability (HRV) supports emotion regulation and is reduced by alcohol. Based on the resonance properties of the cardiovascular system, a new 0.1-Hz methodology was developed to present emotional stimuli and assess HRV reaction in participants (N=36) randomly assigned to an alcohol, placebo, or control condition. Blocked picture cues (negative, positive, neutral) were presented at a rate of 5 s on, 5 s off (i.e., 0.1-Hz frequency). SDNN, pNN50, and HF HRV were reduced by alcohol, compared to the placebo and control. The 0.1-Hz HRV index was diminished by alcohol and placebo, suggesting that autonomic regulation can be affected by cognitive expectancy. The 0.1-Hz HRV index and pNN50 detected changes in arousal during emotional compared to neutral cues, and the 0.1-Hz HRV index was most sensitive to negative valence. The 0.1-Hz HRV methodology may be useful for studying the intersection of cognition, emotion, and autonomic regulation.
- 0.1-Hz resonance