Postures are known to be able to affect emotion and motivation. Much less is known about whether (affective) modulation of eye blink startle occurs following specific postures. The objective of the current study was to explore this. Participants in the present study were requested to assume three different sitting postures: with the spine flexed (slouched), neutral upright, and extended. Each posture was assumed for four minutes, and was followed by the administration of brief self-report questionnaires before proceeding to the next posture. The same series of postures and measures were repeated prior to ending the experiment. Results indicate that, relative to the other postures, the extended sitting posture was associated with an increased startle, was more unpleasant, arousing, had smaller levels of dominance, induced more discomfort, and was perceived as more difficult. The upright and flexed sitting postures differed in the level of self-reported positive affect, but not in eye blink startle amplitudes.
Ceunen, E., Zaman, J., Vlaeyen, J. W. S., Dankaerts, W., & Van Diest, I. (2014). Effect of seated trunk posture on eye blink startle and subjective experience: comparing flexion, neutral upright posture, and extension of spine. PLOS ONE, 9(2), [e88482]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088482