An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the total electrical activity of all of the cardiac muscle fibres. Every contraction of the heart muscle is preceded by an electrical impulse, which usually originates from the sinoatrial node. The heart’s internal electrical conduction system, which is made from specialised cardiac muscle cells, is used to convey this impulse to the other cardiac muscle cells. The changes in electric potential inside the heart can be measured on the surface of the skin.
We use this method to investigate how the perception of internal physical signals (interoceptive awareness) develops. Interoception is subject to various emotional and cognitive processes and appears to also play an important role in how a person experiences his or her own self. During these studies we record your child’s heart activity. We stick three disposable, small, self-adhesive sensors to your child’s chest. These sensors were developed especially for children and can be removed very easily. The recording is entirely non-invasive and there are no side effects or unpleasant aspects whatsoever.