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Heart rate variability covaries with amygdala functional connectivity during voluntary emotion regulation

Tupitsa, E., Egbuniwe, I., Lloyd, W. K., Puertollano, M., Macdonald, B., Joanknecht, K., Sakaki, M. ORCID: and Van Reekum, C. M. ORCID: (2023) Heart rate variability covaries with amygdala functional connectivity during voluntary emotion regulation. NeuroImage, 274. 120136. ISSN 1095-9572

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120136


The Neurovisceral Integration Model posits that shared neural networks support the effective regulation of emotions and heart rate, with heart rate variability (HRV) serving as an objective, peripheral index of prefrontal inhibitory control. Prior neuroimaging studies have predominantly examined both HRV and associated neural functional connectivity at rest, as opposed to contexts that require active emotion regulation. The present study sought to extend upon previous resting-state functional connectivity findings, examining task-related HRV and corresponding amygdala functional connectivity during a cognitive reappraisal task. Seventy adults (52 older and 18 younger adults, 18-84 years, 51% male) received instructions to cognitively reappraise negative affective images during functional MRI scanning. HRV measures were derived from a finger pulse signal throughout the scan. During the task, younger adults exhibited a significant inverse association between HRV and amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) functional connectivity, in which higher task-related HRV was correlated with weaker amygdala-mPFC coupling, whereas older adults displayed a slight positive, albeit non-significant correlation. Furthermore, voxelwise whole-brain functional connectivity analyses showed that higher task-based HRV was linked to weaker right amygdala-posterior cingulate cortex connectivity across older and younger adults, and in older adults, higher task-related HRV correlated positively with stronger right amygdala-right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity. Collectively, these findings highlight the importance of assessing HRV and neural functional connectivity during active regulatory contexts to further identify neural concomitants of HRV and adaptive emotion regulation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:111938
Uncontrolled Keywords:Amygdala, Neurovisceral integration model, Heart rate variability, Medial prefrontal cortex, Functional connectivity


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