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See detailFrom hands to heart: a trend for higher interoceptive accuracy in left-handed as compared to right-handed female participants
Bernard, Sam UL; Barnabo, Meggie; Boos, Mareike et al

in Heinrichs, Markus; Schönauer, Monika (Eds.) 47. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn (2022)

There is a discrete anatomical organization of the neural substrates of mental processes. Right hemispheric dominance was repeatedly shown for interoception, the perception and processing of signals from ... [more ▼]

There is a discrete anatomical organization of the neural substrates of mental processes. Right hemispheric dominance was repeatedly shown for interoception, the perception and processing of signals from inside the body. This right hemispheric dominance is supported, for example, by stronger heartbeat-evoked potentials (HEPs) over the right hemisphere, which represent neurophysiological indicators of cardiac interoception. These findings, however, are based on individuals with left hemispheric dominance, which manifests among other traits, predominantly in right-handedness. Left-handed individuals (presumably showing a right-hemispheric dominance) may show a facilitation of processes with a right-hemispheric relevance, such as interoception, which remains yet unclear. N = 42 healthy participants (21 left- and right-handed each) performed the heartbeat counting task (HCT) to assess cardiac interoceptive accuracy (“IAc”, i.e. the correspondence between actual and perceived bodily signals), as well as a time estimation task, as previous studies suggested that IAc in the HCT may be confounded by time estimation accuracy (TEAc). We found a trend-level difference among female participants, with left-handers presenting higher IAc scores than right-handers. There were no differences in TEAc or heart rate between groups. These preliminary findings suggest a potential facilitating effect of right hemispheric dominance on interoception, which seems to be specific for additional hemispheric specialization effects related to female sex. Future studies are warranted to replicate this trend and to reveal neurophysiological mechanisms of this effect (e.g., by investigating HEPs). [less ▲]

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See detailCardiac cycle phase affect auditory-evoked potentials in response to acoustic startle stimuli, but not perceived intensity ratings
Bernard, Sam UL; Münch, E. E.; Hansen, G. et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractband (2019)

Startle stimuli presented in the early cardiac cycle phase elicit lower responses than stimuli presented in the late cardiac cycle phase. This effect, named ‚Cardiac modulation of startle (CMS)‘, was ... [more ▼]

Startle stimuli presented in the early cardiac cycle phase elicit lower responses than stimuli presented in the late cardiac cycle phase. This effect, named ‚Cardiac modulation of startle (CMS)‘, was proposed to reflect baro-afferent signal processing in the central nervous system. It is yet unclear, however, whether the CMS is due to a general sensory attenuation effect by baro-afferent signal transmission or to a specific neural pathway that selectively attenuates startle stimulus processing, but may eventually enhance other processes. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to address this issue. In this present study 23 female participants were presented acoustic stimuli of varying intensities (95, 100, and 105 dBA) during early (R-wave + 230 ms) and late (R+ 530 ms) cardiac cycle phase. Startle responses (EMG of the M. Orbicularis Oculi), auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs), and perceived intensity ratings of all stimuli were assessed. Higher startle stimulus intensities evoked higher perceived intensity ratings, stronger EMG startle responses, and higher N1, P2, and P3 AEPs. Startle stimuli in the early cardiac cycle phase elicited lower startle responses, and a positive shift of the N1 and P3 components as compared to the late cardiac cycle phase. Intensity ratings were unaffected by the cardiac cycle phases. The present AEP pattern associated with CMS appears to be unique across all startle modulation paradigms, supporting a more specific neural pathway, rather than a general sensory attenuation. [less ▲]

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