The respiratory modulation of interoception

Author: Ludovic Molle1,2, Alexandre Coste1
1 EuroMov Digital Health in Motion, Univ Montpellier, IMT Mines Alès, Montpellier, France.
2 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Nîmes University Hospital, Nîmes, France.
Conference/Journal: J Neurophysiol
Date published: 2022 Mar 16
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1152/jn.00027.2022. , Word Count: 113

In a recent article published in The Journal of Neurophysiology entitled "Sensitivity to changes in rate of heartbeats as a measure of interoceptive ability", Larsson et al. (1) introduce a new method to evaluate the interoceptive ability and report a surprising tendency in humans to perceive fewer heartbeats during spontaneous increases in resting heart rate. The authors argue that this result reflects a reduction in the strength of the heartbeat during the inspiration periods. Here, we discuss this finding and propose a complementary interpretation grounded on consciousness research and an emerging literature showing the influence of the breathing phase on perception and brain activity at rest.

Keywords: consciousness; heartbeat; interoception; respiration.

PMID: 35294271 DOI: 10.1152/jn.00027.2022