Differences in autonomic physiological responses between good and poor inductive reasoners

C.J. Melis, A. van Boxtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated individual- and task-related differences in autonomic physiological responses induced by time limited figural and verbal inductive reasoning tasks. In a group of 52 participants, the percentage of correctly responded task items was evaluated together with nine different autonomic physiological response measures and respiration rate (RR). Weighted multidimensional scaling analyses of the physiological responses revealed three underlying dimensions, primarily characterized by RR, parasympathetic, and sympathetic activity. RR and sympathetic activity appeared to be relatively more important response dimensions for poor reasoners, whereas parasympathetic responsivity was relatively more important for good reasoners. These results suggest that poor reasoners showed higher levels of cognitive processing intensity than good reasoners. Furthermore, for the good reasoners, the dimension of sympathetic activity was relatively more important during the figural than during the verbal reasoning task, which was explained in terms of hemispheric lateralization in autonomic function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-146
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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