Author: L I Skora1, J J A Livermore2, K Roelofs3
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Institute for Biological Psychology of Decision Making, Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany; School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RH, UK; Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RH, UK. Electronic address: L.Skora@hhu.de. <sup>2</sup> Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, 6525EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands; School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RH, UK. <sup>3</sup> Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, 6525EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, 6525HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Conference/Journal: Neurosci Biobehav Rev
Date published: 2022 Apr 5
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104655. , Word Count: 216
SKORA, L.I., J.J.A. LIVERMORE and K. Roelofs. The functional role of cardiac activity in perception and action. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV X(X) XXX-XXX, 2022. Patterns of cardiac activity continuously vary with environmental demands, accelerating or decelerating depending on circumstances. Simultaneously, cardiac cycle affects a host of higher-order processes, where systolic baroreceptor activation largely impairs processing. However, a unified functional perspective on the role of cardiac signal in perception and action has been lacking. Here, we combine the existing strands of literature and use threat-, anticipation-, and error-related cardiac deceleration to show that deceleration is an adaptive mechanism dynamically attenuating the baroreceptor signal associated with each heartbeat to minimise its impact on exteroceptive processing. This mechanism allows to enhance attention afforded to external signal and prepare an appropriate course of action. Conversely, acceleration is associated with a reduced need to attend externally, enhanced action tendencies and behavioural readjustment. This novel account demonstrates that dynamic adjustments in heart rate serve the purpose of regulating the level of precision afforded to internal versus external evidence in order to optimise perception and action. This highlights that the importance of cardiac signal in adaptive behaviour lies in its dynamic regulation.
Keywords: bodily precision; brain-body interaction; cardiac activity; cardiac cycle; cardiac deceleration; cardiac frequency; interoceptive inference.
PMID: 35395334 DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104655