• wednesday, 10 april 2024—12:15

    Mateo Leganes-Fonteneau - Heart rate variability indexes afferent likelihood spread in interoceptive inference? Examining the effects of resonance breathing on interoceptive awareness.

    Mateo Leganes-Fonteneau, University of Amsterdam, Université Catholique de Louvain

    Interoceptive inference perspectives postulate that the brain engages in the continuous monitoring of afferent bodily signals to establish accurate models about the internal state of the body. However, evidence towards these perspectives remains elusive, partially because bodily signals are difficult to modulate in a predictable way.

    In this talk I will briefly introduce different ways in which interoception can be measured and how different bodily systems influence conscious and pre-conscious processing. I will then present experimental results showing that cardiovascular dynamics, as indexed through measures of heart rate variability (HRV), can be modulated to impact interoceptive awareness.

    In a registered report we found that HRV at rest negatively correlated with participants’ capacity to detect their own heartbeats. Importantly, participants also completed a slow paced breathing manipulation (6 breaths/minute, 0.1Hz). This manipulation amplifies the resonant properties of the cardiovascular system, generating large oscillations in HRV, specifically at 0.1Hz. We found a positive correlation between oscillatory power at 0.1Hz and increases in interoceptive awareness. The implication is that a less variable, more predictable pattern of cardiac oscillations facilitates the integration of interoceptive signals in the brain. During resonance breathing, this effect is further accentuated, given that cardiac signals are reorganized within a predictive oscillatory pattern at 0.1Hz.

    Within a predictive coding framework, HRV could be considered as a proxy for the spread of likelihood of interoceptive signals. Higher HRV would equate to noisier afferent signals, whereas resonance breathing would render afferent signals highly predictable, reducing interoceptive prediction errors. This can bring forth novel mechanistic perspectives for the utility of paced breathing as an adjunct clinical tool, particularly in disorders associated with deficits in interoception.

    Join the talk on Teams: https://bit.ly/498NfK4

    external seminar