Following one's heart: cardiac rhythms gate central initiation of sympathetic reflexes

Gray, Marcus A, Rylander, Karin, Harrison, Neil A, Wallin, B Gunnar and Critchley, Hugo D (2009) Following one's heart: cardiac rhythms gate central initiation of sympathetic reflexes. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (6). pp. 1817-1825. ISSN 0270-6474

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Central nervous processing of environmental stimuli requires integration of sensory information with ongoing autonomic control of cardiovascular function. Rhythmic feedback of cardiac and baroreceptor activity contributes dynamically to homeostatic autonomic control. We examined how the processing of brief somatosensory stimuli is altered across the cardiac cycle to evoke differential changes in bodily state. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain and noninvasive beat-to-beat cardiovascular monitoring, we show that stimuli presented before and during early cardiac systole elicited differential changes in neural activity within amygdala, anterior insula and pons, and engendered different effects on blood pressure. Stimulation delivered during early systole inhibited blood pressure increases. Individual differences in heart rate variability predicted magnitude of differential cardiac timing responses within periaqueductal gray, amygdala and insula. Our findings highlight integration of somatosensory and phasic baroreceptor information at cortical, limbic and brainstem levels, with relevance to mechanisms underlying pain control, hypertension and anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: nociceptive flexion reflex, midbrain preiaqueductal gray, blood-pressure reactivity, baroreceptor stimulation, rate-variability, interindividual differences, electrical-stimulation, pain perception, nervous-system, modulation
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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Depositing User: Hazelle Woodhurst
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2011 11:34
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 14:11
Google Scholar:27 Citations

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