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May 2022

Event-related brain potentials and the processing of cardiac activity

Author(s): Montoya, P.

Journal/Book: Biol Psychol. 1996; 42: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science Publishers BV. 75-85.

Abstract: The cortical processing of cardiac afferent input can be studied by means of event-related potentials (ERP), in which characteristic brain waves are seen to accompany rhythmic activity of the heart. In the present paper, results from three studies, investigating the heartbeat-evoked potential are summarized. These studies demonstrated that (a) cardio-afferent input is projected primarily to fronto-cortical areas; (b) typically, this activity is reflected as a broad positive wave form in a range of 300-600 ms after the EKG R-wave; (c) psychological factors such as level of attention and motivation exert influences on the heartbeat-evoked potential which are comparable to effects known from exteroceptive evoked potentials. On the basis of these data we infer that cardioafferent input is for the most part transmitted along visceral fibers and that the cortical processing of cardiac activity is similar to the processing of external stimuli.

Note: Article R Schandry, Univ Munich, Dept Psychol, Leopoldstr 13, D-80802 Munich, Germany

Keyword(s): evoked potentials; cardiac activity; cardiac afferents; VESICO-URETHRAL JUNCTION; EVOKED-POTENTIALS; STIMULATION; RESPONSES; AWARENESS; ATTENTION

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