Utilizing Heartbeat Evoked Potentials to Identify Cardiac Regulation of Vagal Afferents During Emotion and Resonant Breathing
- 975 Downloads
The importance of the bi-directional communication between the heart and brain has been known for over 100 years (Lane et al. in NeuroImage 44:213–222, 2009a, Psychosom Med 2:117–134, 2009b) and plays an important role in many of the prominent theories of psychophysiology today. Utilizing heartbeat evoked potentials (HEPs), we sought to determine whether heart rate variability (HRV) was related to the strength of the connection between the heart and brain. We also hypothesized that differing emotion states would result in differing amplitudes of HEPs. Participants were induced into emotional states with an autobiographical script of their happiest and saddest memory. HEPs were also recorded during diaphragmatic breathing at six breaths per minute. The evoked potentials during the emotional conditions, especially negative emotion were most attenuated. We believe that the signal from the heart to the brain may be filtered by central limbic structures affecting the level of the signal at the cortex. It also appears that HRV affects the strength of HEPs, especially during resonant breathing. Significant neurocardiac gender differences were also present across all conditions. The results of this study support the theory and speculation of many authors who believe vagal afferents play a role in brain function.
KeywordsVagal afferents Heart rate variability Resonant breathing Emotion Heartbeat evoked potentials Central autonomic network
Conflict of interest
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Dufey, M., Hurtado, E., Fernandez, A. M., Manes, F., & Ibanez, A. (2010). Exploring the relationship between vagal tone and event related potentials in response to an affective picture task. Social Neuroscience, 1, 1–15.Google Scholar
- Fennig, S., Naisberg-Fennig, S., Craig, T. J., et al. (1996). Comparison of clinical and research diagnoses of substance use disorders in a first-admission psychotic sample. American Journal of Addiction, 5(1), 40–48.Google Scholar
- First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. B. (2002). Structured clinical interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I disorders, research version, non-patient edition (SCID-I/NP). New York: Biometrics Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
- Gevirtz, R. (2000). Resonant frequency training to restore homeostasis for treatment of psychophysiological disorders. Biofeedback, 27, 7–9.Google Scholar
- Karavidas, M., Lehrer, P. M., Vaschillo, E., Vaschillo, B., Marin, H., Buyske, S., et al. (2007). Preliminary results of an open label study of heart rate variability biofeedback for the treatment of major depression. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32(1), 19–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lane, R. D., McRae, K., Reiman, E. M., Ahern, G. L., & Thayer, J. F. (2007). Neural correlates of vagal tone during emotion. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, A-8.Google Scholar
- Lobbestael, J., Leurgans, M., & Arntz, A. (2010). Inter-rater reliability of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID I) and Axis II Disorders (SCID II). Clinical Psychology Psychotherapy, 3, 21.Google Scholar
- McCraty, R. (2003). Heart-brain neurodynamics: The making of emotions. HeartMath Research Center, Institute of HeartMath, Publication Number 03-015. Boulder Creek, CA.Google Scholar
- McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Tomasino, D., & Bradley, R. T. (2009). The coherent heart heart-brain interactions, psychophysiological coherence and the emergence of a system-wide order. Integral Review, 5(2), 10–115.Google Scholar
- Nugent, A. C., Bain, E. E., Thayer, J. F., & Drevets, W. C. (2007). Anatomical correlates of autonomic control during a motor task. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, A-74.Google Scholar
- Pretz, J. E., Totz, K. S., & Kaufman, S. B. (2010). The effects of mood, cognitive style, and cognitive ability on implicit learning. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2009.12.003.
- Tarvainen, M. P. & Niskanen, J. P. (2008). Kubios HRV version 2.0 user’s guide. Biosignal Analysis and Medical Imaging Group (BSAMIG). Department of Physics, University of Kuopio, Kuopio Finland. Matlab, MathWorks, Inc.Google Scholar
- Terhaar, J., Viola, C. F., Bar, K., & Debener, S. (2012). Heartbeat evoked potentials mirror altered body perception in depressed patients. Clinical Neurophysiology. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2012.02.086.
- Tortora, G. J., & Grabowski, S. R. (1996). Principles of anatomy and physiology (8th ed.). New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
- Undem, B. J., & Weinreich, D. (Eds.). (2005). Advances in vagal afferent neurobiology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar