Heart evoked potential triggers brain responses to natural affective scenes: A preliminary study

Auton Neurosci. 2015 Dec:193:132-7. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2015.06.006. Epub 2015 Jul 3.


The relationship between ongoing brain interoceptive signals and emotional processes has been addressed only indirectly through external stimulus-locked measures. In this study, an internal body trigger (heart evoked potential, HEP) was used to measure ongoing internally triggered signals during emotional states. We employed high-density electroencephalography (hd-EEG), source reconstruction analysis, and behavioral measures to assess healthy participants watching emotion-inducing video-clips (positive, negative, and neutral emotions). Results showed emotional modulation of the HEP at specific source-space nodes of the fronto-insulo-temporal networks related to affective-cognitive integration. This study is the first to assess the direct convergence among continuous triggers of viscerosensory cortical markers and emotion through dynamic stimuli presentation.

Keywords: Body–emotion interaction; Emotion; HEP; Interoception; Ongoing bodily signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Video Recording