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Functional Linear and Nonlinear Brain–Heart Interplay during Emotional Video Elicitation: A Maximum Information Coefficient Study

Department of Information Engineering and Bioengineering and Robotics Research Center “E.Piaggio”, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Entropy 2019, 21(9), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21090892
Received: 6 July 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 12 September 2019 / Published: 14 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Dynamics in Brain and Physiological Networks)
Brain and heart continuously interact through anatomical and biochemical connections. Although several brain regions are known to be involved in the autonomic control, the functional brain–heart interplay (BHI) during emotional processing is not fully characterized yet. To this aim, we investigate BHI during emotional elicitation in healthy subjects. The functional linear and nonlinear couplings are quantified using the maximum information coefficient calculated between time-varying electroencephalography (EEG) power spectra within the canonical bands ( δ , θ , α , β and γ ), and time-varying low-frequency and high-frequency powers from heartbeat dynamics. Experimental data were gathered from 30 healthy volunteers whose emotions were elicited through pleasant and unpleasant high-arousing videos. Results demonstrate that functional BHI increases during videos with respect to a resting state through EEG oscillations not including the γ band (>30 Hz). Functional linear coupling seems associated with a high-arousing positive elicitation, with preferred EEG oscillations in the θ band ( [ 4 , 8 ) Hz) especially over the left-temporal and parietal cortices. Differential functional nonlinear coupling between emotional valence seems to mainly occur through EEG oscillations in the δ , θ , α bands and sympathovagal dynamics, as well as through δ , α , β oscillations and parasympathetic activity mainly over the right hemisphere. Functional BHI through δ and α oscillations over the prefrontal region seems primarily nonlinear. This study provides novel insights on synchronous heartbeat and cortical dynamics during emotional video elicitation, also suggesting that a nonlinear analysis is needed to fully characterize functional BHI. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain–heart interplay; brain–heart axis; heart rate variability; EEG; maximum information coefficient; coupling; nonlinearity; emotion; psychophysiology brain–heart interplay; brain–heart axis; heart rate variability; EEG; maximum information coefficient; coupling; nonlinearity; emotion; psychophysiology
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Catrambone, V.; Greco, A.; Scilingo, E.P.; Valenza, G. Functional Linear and Nonlinear Brain–Heart Interplay during Emotional Video Elicitation: A Maximum Information Coefficient Study. Entropy 2019, 21, 892.

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