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  Cardiac activity impacts cortical motor excitability

Al, E., Stephani, T., Engelhardt, M., Villringer, A., & Nikulin, V. V. (2021). Cardiac activity impacts cortical motor excitability. Research Square. doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-1023617/v1.

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Al, Esra1, Author                 
Stephani, Tilman2, Author                 
Engelhardt, Melina, Author
Villringer, Arno1, Author                 
Nikulin, Vadim V.1, Author                 
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2616696              

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Free keywords: Cognitive neuroscience; Cognition; Somatosensory perception; Cardiac cycle
 Abstract: Human cognition and action can be influenced by internal bodily processes such as heartbeats. For instance, somatosensory perception is impaired both during the systolic phase of the cardiac cycle and when heartbeats evoke stronger cortical responses. Here, we test whether these cardiac effects originate from overall changes in cortical excitability. Cortical and corticospinal excitability were assessed using electroencephalographic and electromyographic responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation while concurrently monitoring cardiac activity with electrocardiography. Cortical and corticospinal excitability were found to be highest during systole and following stronger cortical responses to heartbeats. Furthermore, in a motor task, hand-muscle activity and the associated desynchronization of sensorimotor oscillations were stronger during systole. These results suggest that systolic cardiac signals have a facilitatory effect on motor excitability – in contrast to sensory attenuation that was previously reported for somatosensory perception. Thus, distinct time windows may exist across the cardiac cycle that either optimize perception or action.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-11-09
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1023617/v1
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Title: Research Square
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