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Salivary secretion and disgust: A pilot study


Vicario, CM and Sommer, W and Kuran, KA and Rafal, RD, Salivary secretion and disgust: A pilot study, Acta psychologica, 178 pp. 18-24. ISSN 0001-6918 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2017 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.05.007


Although a direct link has been established between self-experienced disgust and salivary secretion, it is unclear whether this physiological index is modulated by the social experience of disgust (i.e., exposure to the facial expression of disgust). We tested this issue in a pilot study by collecting salivary samples in a group of 20 healthy humans watching pictures of faces expressing disgust. Moreover, we tried to replicate previous evidence by testing saliva secretion in response to pictures of unpalatable (i.e., rotten) food and non-gustatory disgusting stimuli (i.e., disgusting insects). Overall, our analysis shows a general reduction of saliva secretion in response to disgust stimuli, compared to their positive counterparts, although further analyses for specific stimulus categories indicated that this difference was statistically significant only for food pictures. The non-significance of the face and insect categories might be due to insufficient power of our small sample. Overall, a general reduction of saliva secretion for different disgust-related stimuli suggests a shared mechanism of encoding, in line with theories of neural reuse.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:disgust, saliva secretion, social disgust, food-related disgust, non-food related disgust
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Vicario, CM (Dr Carmelo Vicario)
ID Code:117389
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-06-09
Last Modified:2018-07-25

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