Published in

Nature Research, Nature Communications, 1(14), 2023

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-40250-9



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Modulatory dynamics of periodic and aperiodic activity in respiration-brain coupling

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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AbstractBodily rhythms such as respiration are increasingly acknowledged to modulate neural oscillations underlying human action, perception, and cognition. Conversely, the link between respiration and aperiodic brain activity – a non-oscillatory reflection of excitation-inhibition (E:I) balance – has remained unstudied. Aiming to disentangle potential respiration-related dynamics of periodic and aperiodic activity, we applied recently developed algorithms of time-resolved parameter estimation to resting-state MEG and EEG data from two labs (total N = 78 participants). We provide evidence that fluctuations of aperiodic brain activity (1/f slope) are phase-locked to the respiratory cycle, which suggests that spontaneous state shifts of excitation-inhibition balance are at least partly influenced by peripheral bodily signals. Moreover, differential temporal dynamics in their coupling to non-oscillatory and oscillatory activity raise the possibility of a functional distinction in the way each component is related to respiration. Our findings highlight the role of respiration as a physiological influence on brain signalling.