Leveraging Vagally Mediated Heart Rate Variability as an Actionable, Noninvasive Biomarker for Self-Regulation: Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation

Sylvain Laborde, Stefan Ackermann, Uirassu Borges, Martina D'Agostini, Manon Giraudier, Maša Iskra, Emma Mosley, Cristina Ottaviani, Caterina Salvotti, Maximilian Schmaußer, Christoph Szeska, Ilse Van Diest, Carlos Ventura-Bort, Laura Voigt, Julia Wendt, Mathias Weymar

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


This contribution highlights the significance of using vagally-mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), a general indicator of adaptation, as an actionable biomarker to assess and enhance self-regulation abilities in individuals and organizations. The paper reviews the state-of-the-art on vmHRV and introduces various techniques to enhance vmHRV, including slow-paced breathing, the diving reflex, transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The recommendations for policymaking are based on recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses related to the implementation of these techniques in diverse settings, such as clinical, organizational, and educational contexts. The discussion emphasizes the efficacy, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of vmHRV assessments and offers practical tools for individuals and organizations through a three-part framework—assessment, intervention, and evaluation—ultimately fostering self-regulation abilities at both individual and societal levels.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.2023