Brain response to heartbeat may help us understand consciousness

Written by Campbell Brooks

Researchers have observed that patients with consciousness disorders display patterns of brain activity synchronized with their heartbeats, which vary depending on the patient’s level of consciousness. This information may help in the diagnosis of consciousness disorders, as well as in understanding the nature of consciousness itself. It is known that the brain’s response to heartbeats, known as the heart-evoked response (HER), correlates with perceptual, bodily and self-consciousness in healthy people. This study from scientists at the University of Liège (Belgium) and l’École Normale Supérieure – PSL (Paris, France), and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, aimed to test this hypothesis...

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