Heartbeats help people see | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.

Science Ticker

Your daily roundup of research news

Science News Staff
Science Ticker

Heartbeats help people see

Heart pulses improved how well people were able to spot a flash of a hard-to-see ring, a new study shows.

Sponsor Message

Guest post by Laura Sanders

Each heartbeat creates a blip of neural activity in the brain, and that blip may help people better sense their world.

People were more likely to spot a flash of a hard-to-see ring when the image was presented right after a heartbeat, researchers report March 9 in Nature Neuroscience. The neural jolt produced by a heartbeat primes the brain to better detect the ring.

The results are an example of how bodily functions can have a big effect on the brain. 

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Science Ticker posts

From the Nature Index Paid Content