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When Breathing Interferes with Cognition: Experimental Inspiratory Loading Alters Timed Up-and-Go Test in Normal Humans

Nierat, Marie-Cécile
Demiri, Suela
Morélot-Panzini, Capucine
Similowski, Thomas
Published in PLOS ONE. 2016, vol. 11, no. 3, e0151625
Abstract Human breathing stems from automatic brainstem neural processes. It can also be operated by cortico-subcortical networks, especially when breathing becomes uncomfortable because of external or internal inspiratory loads. How the "irruption of breathing into consciousness" interacts with cognition remains unclear, but a case report in a patient with defective automatic breathing (Ondine's curse syndrome) has shown that there was a cognitive cost of breathing when the respiratory cortical networks were engaged. In a pilot study of putative breathing-cognition interactions, the present study relied on a randomized design to test the hypothesis that experimentally loaded breathing in 28 young healthy subjects would have a negative impact on cognition as tested by "timed up-and-go" test (TUG) and its imagery version (iTUG). Progressive inspiratory threshold loading resulted in slower TUG and iTUG performance. Participants consistently imagined themselves faster than they actually were. However, progressive inspiratory loading slowed iTUG more than TUG, a finding that is unexpected with regard to the known effects of dual tasking on TUG and iTUG (slower TUG but stable iTUG). Insofar as the cortical networks engaged in response to inspiratory loading are also activated during complex locomotor tasks requiring cognitive inputs, we infer that competition for cortical resources may account for the breathing-cognition interference that is evidenced here.
Keywords AdultAirway Obstruction/physiopathologyCognition/physiologyCognition Disorders/etiology/physiopathologyDyspnea/physiopathologyFemaleGait/physiologyHumansImagination/physiologyInhalation/physiologyMaleMotion Perception/physiologyPilot ProjectsPsychomotor Performance/physiologyRandom AllocationReaction Time/physiologyReference ValuesRespirationRespiratory Center/physiologySelf ConceptStressMechanicalTime Perception/physiologyVolitionYoung Adult
PMID: 26978782
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Article (Published version) (435 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Epidémiologie clinique (115)
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NIERAT, Marie-Cécile et al. When Breathing Interferes with Cognition: Experimental Inspiratory Loading Alters Timed Up-and-Go Test in Normal Humans. In: PLOS ONE, 2016, vol. 11, n° 3, p. e0151625. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151625 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:99198

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Deposited on : 2017-11-17

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