Apr 29, 2020

Heart-brain interactions shape somatosensory perception and evoked potentials

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Esra AlArno Villringer

Abstract

Even though humans are mostly not aware of their heartbeats, several heartbeat-related effects have been reported to influence conscious perception. It is not clear whether these effects are distinct or related phenomena, or whether they are early sensory effects or late decisional processes. Combining electroencephalography and electrocardiography, along with signal detection theory analyses, we identify two distinct heartbeat-related influences on conscious perception differentially related to early vs. late somatosensory processing. First, an effect on early sensory processing was found for the heartbeat-evoked potential (HEP), a marker of cardiac interoception. The amplitude of the prestimulus HEP negatively correlated with localization and detection of somatosensory stimuli, reflecting a more conservative detection bias (criterion). Importantly, higher HEP amplitudes were followed by decreases in early (P50) as well as late (N140, P300) somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP) amplitudes. Second, stimulus timing along the cardiac cycle also affected perception. During systole, stimuli were detected and correctly localized less frequently, relating to a shift in perceptual sensitivity. This perceptual attenuation was accompanie...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Detection
Electroencephalography
Electrocardiography
Heart Beat
PCDH7 gene
Somatosensory Disorders
Sensory Process
Brain Waves
Introns
Amplitude

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