HEPLAB: Matlab scripts to facilitate heartbeat-evoked potential analysis

The heartbeat-evoked potential is a measure of the brain’s electromagnetic response to individual heartbeats that is emerging as a novel and promising index of brain-body communication. Just like any other evoked brain potential, its visualisation and quantitive assessment require the averaging of several trials to reduce the influence of fluctuations that are not related to the evoking stimulus. Although the process of creating custom events that correspond to the R-peak of the electrocardiographic signal is pretty straightforward, to my knowledge there is still no commercial software to facilitate this task. Continue reading “HEPLAB: Matlab scripts to facilitate heartbeat-evoked potential analysis”


Our preprint on brain-heart communication in athletes and sedentary young adults, available for peer review

Our recent research, revealing significant differences in how the brains of physically trained and sedentary young adults process information from the heart, is now available for commentary and formal peer review in two preprint repositories: SJS (@social_sjs) and bioRxiv (@biorxivpreprint). Each of these repositories comes with advantages and disadvantages. BioRxiv is already backed by a large community, provides a DOI for indexing and citing, and tracks article usage statistics across the web. Its big disadvantage is that, just like in any other repository, articles simply sit there waiting to be published in a traditional journal in order to acquire some quality indicator —no matter how inaccurate and perverse— that will inform readers and be useful for authors in the advancement of their careers. SJS, on the other hand, is the first and only repository that facilitates a formal peer review process. Its big disadvantage is that it is not yet supported by a big community that would ensure sustainability and greater visibility. Continue reading “Our preprint on brain-heart communication in athletes and sedentary young adults, available for peer review”