Dynamic neurocognitive changes in interoception after heart transplant

Paula Celeste Salamone, Lucas Sedeño, Agustina Legaz, Tristán Bekinschtein, Miguel Martorell, Federico Adolfi, Matías Fraile-Vazquez, Nicolás Rodríguez Arriagada, Liliana Favaloro, Margarita Peradejordi, Daniel O. Absi, Adolfo M. García, Roberto Favaloro, Agustín Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heart-brain integration dynamics are critical for interoception (i.e. the sensing of body signals). In this unprecedented longitudinal study, we assessed neurocognitive markers of interoception in patients who underwent orthotopic heart transplants and matched healthy controls. Patients were assessed longitudinally before surgery (T1), a few months later (T2) and a year after (T3). We assessed behavioural (heartbeat detection) and electrophysiological (heartbeat evoked potential) markers of interoception. Heartbeat detection task revealed that pre-surgery (T1) interoception was similar between patients and controls. However, patients were outperformed by controls after heart transplant (T2), but no such differences were observed in the follow-up analysis (T3). Neurophysiologically, although heartbeat evoked potential analyses revealed no differences between groups before the surgery (T1), reduced amplitudes of this event-related potential were found for the patients in the two post-transplant stages (T2, T3). All these significant effects persisted after covariation with different cardiological measures. In sum, this study brings new insights into the adaptive properties of brain-heart pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcaa095
JournalBrain Communications
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • heart transplantation
  • heartbeat detection
  • heartbeat evoked potential
  • interoception
  • vagus nerve denervation

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