Neuroscience seminars

Brain-body interactions: the impact of visceral signals on resting state brain activity and higher-order cognitive functions

Sala 8.2.13, FCUL, Lisboa

Por Mariana Babo-Rebelo (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London).

Abstract: “Brain-body interactions are most often considered in the context of regulatory physiological loops for homeostatic maintenance. In the neuroscience field, bodily signals are usually seen as sources of noise for brain recordings. Yet, bodily signals, and in particular visceral ones, are constantly being relayed to the brain, and might influence brain function. We will see how signals from the stomach can modulate resting state brain activity and be associated with a resting-state network. I will then show evidence for how brain-heart coupling can underlie high-level cognitive functions, such as self-consciousness, consistently across different behavioural tasks. Visceral signals can thus modulate brain activity and cognitive functions, thereby highlighting the importance of considering the organism as a whole in neuroscience.”