Complex heartbeat dynamics is known to reflect subject's emotional state, thanks to numerous links to brain cortical and subcortical regions. Likewise, specific brain regions are deeply involved in vagally-mediated emotional processing and regulation. Nevertheless, although the brain-heart interplay has been studied during visual emotion elicitation, directional interactions have not been investigated so far. To fill this gap, in this study we investigate brain-heart dynamics during emotional elicitation in healthy subjects through measures of Granger causality (GC) between the two physiological systems. Data were gathered from 22 healthy volunteers who underwent pleasant/ unpleasant affective elicitation using pictures from the International Affective Picture System. Neutral emotional stimuli were elicited as well. High density electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were processed to obtain time-varying maps of cortical activation, whereas the associated instantaneous cardiovascular dynamics was estimated through inhomogeneous point-process models. Concerning the information transfer brain-to-heart, GE highlighted significant valence-dependent lateralization with respect to resting states. Furthermore, as a proof of concept, the study of heart-to-brain dynamics considering EEG oscillations in the Î³ band (30-45 Hz) highlighted differential information transfer between neutral and positive elicitations directed to the prefrontal cortex.
|Numero di pagine||4|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|
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