Oct 2, 2020

Respiration modulates oscillatory neural network activity at rest

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daniel S. Kluger, J. Gross


Despite recent advances in understanding how respiration affects neural signalling to influence perception, cognition, and behaviour, it is yet unclear to what extent breathing modulates brain oscillations at rest. We acquired respiration and resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from human participants to investigate if, where, and how respiration cyclically modulates oscillatory amplitudes (2 - 150 Hz). Using measures of phase-amplitude coupling, we show respiration-modulated brain oscillations (RMBOs) across all major frequency bands. Sources of these modulations spanned a widespread network of cortical and subcortical brain areas with distinct spectro-temporal modulation profiles. Globally, high-frequency gamma modulation increased with distance to the head centre, whereas delta and theta modulation decreased with height in the sagittal plane. Overall, we provide the first comprehensive mapping of RMBOs across the entire brain, highlighting respiration-brain coupling as a fundamental mechanism to shape neural processing within canonical resting-state and respiratory control networks.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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