Theory polyvagal perspective

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  • Last update: 13 septembre 2017
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  • Author: Stephen W. Porges

Abstract

 

The Polyvagal Theory introduced a new perspective relating autonomic function to behavior that

included an appreciation of 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 vertebrate autonomic nervous system. The

paper has two objectives: First, to provide an explicit statement of the theory; and second, to introduce

the features of a polyvagal perspective. The polyvagal perspective emphasizes how an understanding

of neurophysiological mechanisms and phylogenetic shifts in neural regulation, leads to different

questions, paradigms, explanations, and conclusions regarding autonomic function in biobehavioral

processes than peripheral models. Foremost, the polyvagal perspective emphasizes the importance

of phylogenetic changes in the neural structures regulating the autonomic nervous system and how

these phylogenetic shifts provide insights into the adaptive function and the neural regulation of the

 

two vagal systems.....

 

Keywords

Autonomic nervous system; Heart rate variability; Respiratory sinus arrhythmia; Vagus; Polyvagal

 

theory; Parasympathetic; Respiration; Vagal tone; Evolution; Phyylogeny