Extracting information about emotion from heart rate in real life is challenged by the concurrent effect of physical activity on heart rate caused by metabolic need. “Non-metabolic heart rate,” which refers to the heart rate that is caused by factors other than physical activity, may be a more sensitive and more universally applicable correlate of emotion than heart rate itself. The aim of the present article is to explore the evidence that non-metabolic heart rate, as it has been determined up until now, indeed reflects emotion. We focus on methods using accelerometry since these sensors are readily available in devices suitable for daily life usage. The evidence that non-metabolic heart rate as determined by existing methods reflect emotion is limited. Alternative possible routes are explored. We conclude that for real-life cases, estimating the type and intensity of activities based on accelerometry (and other information), and in turn use those to determine the non-metabolic heart rate for emotion is most promising.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience