Stephen Porges Keynote

The Ventral Vagal Complex:

A Neuroanatomical Structure

that Dampens Threat Reactions

and Promotes Sociality

The evolutionary journey from asocial reptiles to social mammals is highlighted by a reorganized autonomic nervous system with unique structural and functional changes in the vagus that can be monitored

through metrics of vocal intonation and heart rate variability. These changes enable mammals to suppress defensive strategies to support and express sociality. The product of this transition is an autonomic nervous system with capacities to self-calm, to socially engage others, and to mitigate threat reactions in ourselves and others through social cues.