Learning by heart : cardiac cycle reveals an effective time window for learning
Waselius, T., Wikgren, J., Halkola, H., Penttonen, M., & Nokia, M. (2018). Learning by heart : cardiac cycle reveals an effective time window for learning. Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(2), 830-838. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00128.2018
Published inJournal of Neurophysiology
DisciplinePsykologiaMonitieteinen aivotutkimuskeskusPsychologyCentre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research
© 2018 the American Physiological Society
Cardiac cycle phase is known to modulate processing of simple sensory information. This effect of the heartbeat on brain function is likely exerted via baroreceptors, the neurons sensitive for changes in blood pressure. From baroreceptors, the signal is conveyed all the way to the forebrain and the medial prefrontal cortex. In the two experiments reported, we examined whether learning, as a more complex form of cognition, can be modulated by the cardiac cycle phase. Human participants (experiment 1) and rabbits (experiment 2) were trained in trace eyeblink conditioning while neural activity was recorded. The conditioned stimulus was presented contingently with either the systolic or diastolic phase of the cycle. The tone used as the conditioned stimulus evoked amplified responses in both humans (electroencephalogram from “vertex,” Cz) and rabbits (hippocampal CA1 local field potential) when its onset was timed at systole. In humans, the cardiac cycle phase did not affect learning, but rabbits trained at diastole learned significantly better than those trained at a random phase of the cardiac cycle. In summary, our results suggest that neural processing of external stimuli and also learning can be affected by targeting stimuli on the basis of cardiac cycle phase. These findings might be useful in applications aimed at maximizing or minimizing the effects of external stimulation. ...
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe work was supported by Academy of Finland Grant 286384 (to M. S. Nokia).
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Nokia, Miriam (University of Jyväskylä, 2009)
Puttonen, Hanna (2004)
Waselius, Tomi; Pöllänen, Eveliina; Wikgren, Jan; Penttonen, Markku; Nokia, Miriam (Elsevier BV, 2017)Hippocampal theta oscillations (3–12 Hz) play a prominent role in learning. It has been suggested that encoding and retrieval of memories are supported by different phases of the theta cycle. Our previous study on trace ...
Wikgren, Jan (University of Jyväskylä, 2002)The aim of the present study was to assess the role of the cerebellar interpositus nucleus (IPN) in different types of associations during classical eyeblink conditioning in rabbits.
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