Baroreceptor stimulation alters cortical activity

H. Rau, P. Pauli, S. Brody, T. Elbert, N. Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The arterial baroreceptors constitute an essential sensory link for the short-term regulation of blood pressure and may also influence higher cortical function. The present study was undertaken to evaluate previous reports of such a cortical influence under conditions of psychologically controlled, mechanical baroreceptor stimulation. This control was achieved by use of PRES (phase-related external suction), a modified neck suction technique. PRES applies short suction bursts that have a different impact on baroreceptors depending on their timing within the cardiac cycle and has the advantage that subjects cannot easily discriminate between conditions of stimulation and inhibition. Electroencephalograms were recorded from 22 subjects during PRES manipulations. A surface-negative shift of about 10 μV developed during the cuff manipulations. Over frontal-central regions, this shift was smaller during baroreceptor stimulation than during inhibition. These data provide support for the proposal that baroreceptor activation influences cortical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-325
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Baroreceptor
  • Baroreceptor stimulation
  • Cortical potentials
  • Interbeat interval
  • PRES
  • Slow potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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