Resting-state brain correlates of instantaneous autonomic outflow


A prominent pathway of brain-heart interaction is represented by autonomic nervous system (ANS) heartbeat modulation. While within-brain resting state networks have been the object of intense functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) research, technological and methodological limitations have hampered research on the central correlates of cardiovascular control dynamics. Here we combine the high temporal and spatial resolution as well as data volume afforded by the Human Connectome Project with a probabilistic model of heartbeat dynamics to characterize central correlates of sympathetic and parasympathetic ANS activity at rest. We demonstrate an involvement of a number of brain regions such as the Insular cortex, Frontal Gyrus, Lateral Occipital Cortex, Paracingulate and Cingulate Gyrus and Precuneous Cortex, as well as subcortical structures (Thalamus, Putamen, Pallidum, Brain-Stem, Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Right Caudate) in the modulation of ANS-mediated cardiovascular control, possibly indicating a broader definition of the central autonomic network (CAN). Our findings provide a basis for an informed neurobiological interpretation of the numerous studies which employ HRV-related measures as standalone biomarkers in health and disease.

DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2017.8037568

Cite this paper

@article{Valenza2017RestingstateBC, title={Resting-state brain correlates of instantaneous autonomic outflow}, author={Gaetano Valenza and Andrea Duggento and Luca Passamonti and Stefano Diciotti and Carlo Tessa and Riccardo Barbieri and Nicola Toschi}, journal={Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference}, year={2017}, volume={2017}, pages={3325-3328} }