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Clinical neuroscience and the heart: How cardiac signals influence emotion and cognition

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Yasmin Fouani-Eckstein.

Cognitive and emotional processes are shaped by the dynamic integration of brain and body. A major channel of interoceptive information comes from the heart, where phasic signals are conveyed to the brain to indicate how fast and strong the heart is beating. This talk will detail how cardiac afferent signals can interact with neuronal mechanisms to alter emotion processing. This interoceptive channel is disrupted in distinct ways in functional neurological disorder, autism and anxiety; specific interoceptive disturbances may contribute to our understanding of symptoms in these clinical conditions, including dissociation and altered affective processing. The discrete cardiac effects on emotion and cognition have broad relevance for clinical neuroscience, with implications for peripheral treatment targets and behavioural interventions focused on the heart.

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