Measuring appetitive responding with the postauricular reflex.Psychophysiology. 2009 May; 46(3):491-7.P
Recent research has provided evidence that the postauricular reflex (PAR) is potentiated while people view pleasant images relative to unpleasant and neutral images. The present study sought to extend these findings by investigating whether the PAR is more robustly modulated by the appetitive salience of the stimuli. Eyeblink startle and PAR responses of 51 participants were recorded while they viewed images that varied in valence and thematic content. Participants displayed significantly greater mean PAR magnitude during appetitive-related images (e.g., food, erotica, families) compared with non-appetitive-related pleasant images. These findings support the contention that the PAR is a useful tool for measuring appetitive responding in humans.