Causal brain-heart information transfer during visual emotional elicitation in healthy subjects: Preliminary evaluations and future perspectives

Luca Faes, Antonio Lanata, Riccardo Barbieri, Gaetano Valenza, Luca Faes, Alberto Greco, Enzo Pasquale Scilingo

Risultato della ricerca: Other

4 Citazioni (Scopus)


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 γ band (30-45 Hz) highlighted differential information transfer between neutral and positive elicitations directed to the prefrontal cortex.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine4
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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