Visceral Signals Shape Brain Dynamics and Cognition

Damiano Azzalini, Ignacio Rebollo, Catherine Tallon-Baudry
2019 Trends in Cognitive Sciences  
Most research in cognitive neuroscience explores how external stimuli are processed by the brain. However, the brain also receives input from the internal body. We discuss here how the heart and gastrointestinal (GI) tract intrinsically generate their own electrical activity, thereby continuously sending information to the brain. These ongoing ascending signals actively shape brain dynamics at rest, complementing canonical resting-state networks (RSNs). Cardiac signals also influence the
more » ... ing of external sensory information and the production of spontaneous, internal cognition. These findings are discussed in relation to interpretative frameworks regarding the functional role of visceral inputs. This active field of research offers a unique opportunity to draw new theories blurring the border between cognition, emotion, and consciousness, as well as between mind and body.
doi:10.1016/j.tics.2019.03.007 pmid:31047813 fatcat:srlek2k63nagnmstxtvzwi6nmu