In recent years, measures of cardiac interoceptive accuracy have been heavily scrutinised. The focus has been on potentially confounding physiological and psychological factors; little research has examined whether the device used to record objective heartbeats may influence cardiac interoceptive accuracy. The present studies assessed whether the device employed influences heartbeat counting (HCT) accuracy and the location from which heartbeats are perceived. In Study One, participants completed the HCT using a hard-clip finger pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram (ECG) and a smartphone application. In Study Two, an ECG, hard-clip and soft-clip oximeter were compared. Moderate-strong correlations were observed across devices, however mean HCT accuracy and confidence varied as a function of device. Increased sensation in the finger when using a hard-clip pulse oximeter was related to increased accuracy relative to ECG. Results suggest that the device employed can influence HCT performance, and argue against comparing, or combining, scores obtained using different devices.
Cardiac interoception, ECG, heartbeat counting, interoception, interoceptive accuracy, pulse oximeter