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  Respiration, heartbeat, and conscious tactile perception

Grund, M., Al, E., Pabst, M., Dabbagh, A., Stephani, T., Nierhaus, T., et al. (2021). Respiration, heartbeat, and conscious tactile perception. bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/2021.03.22.436396.

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2021.03.22.436396v3.full.pdf (Preprint), 5MB
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 Creators:
Grund, Martin1, Author              
Al, Esra1, 2, Author              
Pabst, Marc1, Author
Dabbagh, Alice1, 3, Author              
Stephani, Tilman1, 4, Author              
Nierhaus, Till1, 5, Author              
Gaebler, Michael1, 2, Author              
Villringer, Arno1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, ou_persistent22              
3Pain Perception Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, ou_persistent22              
4International Max Planck Research School NeuroCom, ou_persistent22              
5Neurocomputation and Neuroimaging Unit, Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Respiration; Cardiac cycle; Interoception; Tactile perception; Electrocardiogram; Photoplethysmography
 Abstract: Previous studies have shown that timing of sensory stimulation during the cardiac cycle interacts with perception. Given the natural coupling of respiration and cardiac activity, we investigated here their joint effects on tactile perception. Forty-one healthy female and male human participants reported conscious perception of finger near-threshold electrical pulses (33% null trials) and decision confidence while electrocardiography, respiratory activity, and finger photoplethysmography were recorded. Participants adapted their respiratory cycle to expected stimulus onsets to preferentially occur during late inspiration / early expiration. This closely matched heart rate variation (sinus arrhythmia) across the respiratory cycle such that most frequent stimulation onsets occurred during the period of highest heart rate probably indicating highest alertness and cortical excitability. Tactile detection rate was highest during the first quadrant after expiration onset. Inter-individually, stronger respiratory phase-locking to the task was associated with higher detection rates. Regarding the cardiac cycle, we confirmed previous findings that tactile detection rate was higher during diastole than systole and newly specified its minimum at 250 - 300 ms after the R-peak corresponding to the pulse wave arrival in the finger. Expectation of stimulation induced a transient heart deceleration which was more pronounced for unconfident decision ratings. Inter-individually, stronger post-stimulus modulations of heart rate were linked to higher detection rates. In summary, we demonstrate how tuning to the respiratory cycle and integration of respiratory-cardiac signals are used to optimize performance of a tactile detection task.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-11-02
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.22.436396
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Title: bioRxiv
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