A single oral dose of citalopram increases interoceptive insight in healthy volunteers

Livermore, James J A, Holmes, Clare L, Moga, Gyorgy, Adamatzky, Kristian, Critchley, Hugo D, Garfinkel, Sarah N and Campbell-Meiklejohn, Daniel (2022) A single oral dose of citalopram increases interoceptive insight in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology. ISSN 0033-3158

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Interoception is the signalling, perception, and interpretation of internal physiological states. Many mental disorders associated with changes of interoception, including depressive and anxiety disorders, are treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, the causative link between SSRIs and interoception is not yet clear.

To ascertain the causal effect of acute changes of serotonin levels on cardiac interoception.

Using a within-participant placebo-controlled design, forty-seven healthy human volunteers (31 female, 16 male) were tested on and off a 20 mg oral dose of the commonly prescribed SSRI, citalopram. Participants made judgements on the synchrony between their heartbeat and auditory tones and then expressed confidence in each judgement. We measured three types of interoceptive cognition.

Citalopram increased cardiac interoceptive insight, measured as correspondence of self-reported confidence to the likelihood that interoceptive judgements were actually correct. This effect was driven by enhanced confidence for correct interoceptive judgements and was independent of measured cardiac and reported subjective effects of the drug.

An acute change of serotonin levels can increase insight into the reliability of inferences made from cardiac interoceptive sensations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Serotonin, Citalopram, Interoception, Metacognition, SSRI
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2022 07:50
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2022 16:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/104864

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