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The effect of adrenergic blockade on blushing and facial flushing

Drummond, P.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3711-8737 (1997) The effect of adrenergic blockade on blushing and facial flushing. Psychophysiology, 34 (2). pp. 163-168.

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The effect of adrenergic blockade on vascular responses in the forehead was assessed during stressful mental arithmetic, singing, and moderate exercise in 21 frequent blushers and 21 infrequent blushers. Adrenergic antagonists were introduced into a small site on the forehead by iontophoresis, and vascular responses were monitored bilaterally with laser Doppler flowmetry. Beta blockade prevented increases in blood flow in infrequent blushers during mental arithmetic and partially inhibited vasodilatation during singing, indicating minor participation of β- adrenoceptors in blushing. Alpha blockade did not affect blushing but augmented vasodilatation during exercise. Despite higher ratings of self- consciousness in frequent than in infrequent blushers, vascular responses were similar in both groups. Thus, blushing propensity does not appear to he related to the density of α- or β-adrenoceptors in facial vessels and may have a psychological basis.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 1997 Society for Psychophysiological Research
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