Article (Scientific journals)
Ultra-slow mechanical stimulation of olfactory epithelium modulates consciousness by slowing cerebral rhythms in humans
Piarulli, Andrea; Zaccaro, Andrea; Laurino, Marco et al.
2018In Scientific Reports, 8 (1)
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Keywords :
Consciousness
Abstract :
[en] The coupling between respiration and neural activity within olfactory areas and hippocampus has recently been unambiguously demonstrated, its neurophysiological basis sustained by the well-assessed mechanical sensitivity of the olfactory epithelium. We herein hypothesize that this coupling reverberates to the whole brain, possibly modulating the subject's behavior and state of consciousness. The olfactory epithelium of 12 healthy subjects was stimulated with periodical odorless air-delivery (frequency 0.05 Hz, 8 s on, 12 off). Cortical electrical activity (High Density-EEG) and perceived state of consciousness have been studied. The stimulation induced i) an enhancement of delta-theta EEG activity over the whole cortex mainly involving the Limbic System and Default Mode Network structures, ii) a reversal of the overall information flow directionality from wake-like postero-anterior to NREM sleep-like antero-posterior, iii) the perception of having experienced an Altered State of Consciousness. These findings could shed further light via a neurophenomenological approach on the links between respiration, cerebral activity and subjective experience, suggesting a plausible neurophysiological basis for interpreting altered states of consciousness induced by respiration-based meditative practices.
Research center :
Coma Science Group
Disciplines :
Neurology
Author, co-author :
Piarulli, Andrea  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > GIGA : Coma Group
Zaccaro, Andrea;  Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 65, Pisa, 56126, Italy
Laurino, Marco;  Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council (CNR), Via Giuseppe Moruzzi 1, Pisa, 56127, Italy
Menicucci, Danilo;  Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Via Risorgimento 36, Pisa, 56126, Italy
De Vito, Andrea;  Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, University Hospital, AOUP, Via Paradisa 2, Pisa, 56124, Italy
Bruschini, Luca;  Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 65, Pisa, 56126, Italy, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, University Hospital, AOUP, Via Paradisa 2, Pisa, 56124, Italy
Berrettini, Stefano;  Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 65, Pisa, 56126, Italy, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, University Hospital, AOUP, Via Paradisa 2, Pisa, 56124, Italy
Bergamasco, Massimo;  PERCRO Laboratory, TECIP Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Via Alamanni 13B, Ghezzano Pisa, 56010, Italy
Laureys, Steven  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > GIGA : Coma Group
Gemignani, Angelo;  Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 65, Pisa, 56126, Italy, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council (CNR), Via Giuseppe Moruzzi 1, Pisa, 56127, Italy, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, University Hospital, AOUP, Via Paradisa 2, Pisa, 56124, Italy
Language :
English
Title :
Ultra-slow mechanical stimulation of olfactory epithelium modulates consciousness by slowing cerebral rhythms in humans
Publication date :
April 2018
Journal title :
Scientific Reports
eISSN :
2045-2322
Publisher :
Nature Publishing Group
Volume :
8
Issue :
1
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
UE - Union Européenne [BE]
NRC - National Research Council
UniPi - University of Pisa [IT]
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [BE]
FEDER - Fonds Européen de Développement Régional [BE]
JSMF - James S McDonnell Foundation [US-MO] [US-MO]
ASE - Agence Spatiale Européenne [FR]
BELSPO - Politique scientifique fédérale [BE]
FERB - Fondazione Europea Ricerca Biomedica [IT]
Laboratórios Bial [PT]
Wallonia-Brussels Federation Concerted Research Action
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