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Active information sampling varies across the cardiac cycle

MPS-Authors

Kunzendorf,  Stella
Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Klotzsche,  Felix
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Akbal,  Mert
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Villringer,  Arno
Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
MindBrainBody Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Citation

Kunzendorf, S., Klotzsche, F., Akbal, M., Villringer, A., Ohl, S., & Gaebler, M. (2019). Active information sampling varies across the cardiac cycle. Psychophysiology, 56(5): e13322. doi:10.1111/psyp.13322.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-CFF4-2
Abstract
Perception and cognition oscillate with fluctuating bodily states. For example, visual processing has been shown to change with alternating cardiac phases. Here, we study the heartbeat's role for active information sampling—testing whether humans implicitly act upon their environment so that relevant signals appear during preferred cardiac phases. During the encoding period of a visual memory experiment, participants clicked through a set of emotional pictures to memorize them for a later recognition test. By self‐paced key press, they actively prompted the onset of short (100 ms) presented pictures. Simultaneously recorded electrocardiograms allowed us to analyze the self‐initiated picture onsets relative to the heartbeat. We find that self‐initiated picture onsets vary across the cardiac cycle, showing an increase during cardiac systole, while memory performance was not affected by the heartbeat. We conclude that active information sampling integrates heart‐related signals, thereby extending previous findings on the association between body‐brain interactions and behavior.