The Relationship Between Heart Rate Variability and Electroencephalography Functional Connectivity Variability Is Associated With Cognitive Flexibility
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AuthorAlba, Guzmán; Vila Castellar, Jaime; Rey, Beatriz; Montoya, Pedro; Muñoz García, Miguel Ángel
Resting-stateSample entropyVariability of functional connectivityCognitive flexibilityHRVEEG
Alba G, Vila J, Rey B, Montoya P and Muñoz MÁ (2019) The Relationship Between Heart Rate Variability and Electroencephalography Functional Connectivity Variability Is Associated With Cognitive Flexibility. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 13:64.
SponsorshipThis work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2014-57231-R). Research was funded by Grant Nos. PSI2014-57231-R and PSI2017-88388-C4-3-R from Spanish Ministry of Science.
The neurovisceral integration model proposes a neuronal network that is related to heart rate activity and cognitive performance. The aim of this study was to determine whether heart rate variability (HRV) and variability in electroencephalographic (EEG) functional connectivity in the resting state are related to cognitive flexibility. Thirtyeight right-handed students completed the CAMBIOS test, and their heart and EEG activity was recorded during 6 min in the resting state with their eyes open. We calculated correlations, partial correlations and multiple linear regressions among HRV indices, functional brain connectivity variability and CAMBIOS scores. Furthermore, the sample was divided into groups according to CAMBIOS performance, and one-way ANOVA was applied to evaluate group differences. Our results show direct and inverse correlations among cognitive flexibility, connectivity (positive and negative task networks) and heartbeat variability. Partial correlations and multiple linear regressions suggest that the relation between HRV and CAMBIOS performance is mediated by neuronal oscillations. ANOVA confirms that HRV and variability in functional brain connectivity is related to cognitive performance. In conclusion, the levels of brain signal variability might predict cognitive flexibility in a cognitive task, while HRV might predict cognitive flexibility only when it is mediated by neuronal oscillations.