Aroused with heart: Modulation of heartbeat evoked potential by arousal induction and its oscillatory correlates

Luft, Caroline Di Bernardi and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2015. Aroused with heart: Modulation of heartbeat evoked potential by arousal induction and its oscillatory correlates. Scientific Reports, 5, 15717. ISSN 2045-2322 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Recent studies showed that the visceral information is constantly processed by the brain, thereby potentially influencing cognition. One index of such process is the heartbeat evoked potential (HEP), an ERP component related to the cortical processing of the heartbeat. The HEP is sensitive to a number of factors such as motivation, attention, pain, which are associated with higher levels of arousal. However, the role of arousal and its associated brain oscillations on the HEP has not been characterized, yet it could underlie the previous findings. Here we analysed the effects of high- (HA) and low-arousal (LA) induction on the HEP. Further, we investigated the brain oscillations and their role in the HEP in response to HA and LA inductions. As compared to LA, HA was associated with a higher HEP and lower alpha oscillations. Interestingly, individual differences in the HEP modulation by arousal induction were correlated with alpha oscillations. In particular, participants with higher alpha power during the arousal inductions showed a larger HEP in response to HA compared to LA. In summary, we demonstrated that arousal induction affects the cortical processing of heartbeats; and that the alpha oscillations may modulate this effect.

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This work was supported by the EPSRC, UK (Research Grant EP/H-1294X) and by the European Commission (Grant Agreement No. 612022).

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2 October 2015Accepted
27 October 2015Published Online

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Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2016 11:07

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:05

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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