A Functional Signature of Augmented Nasal Breathing Across the Cortex

Vashista, Geet
Thoma, Christian
Pedersen, Mangor
Shepherd, Daniel
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

Introduction: This investigation examines the impact of technologically augmented nasal breathing (Goodair Nosebuds) on the executive centers of the human brain. The technology emulates humming through pressure oscillations in the tidal air stream, drawing inspiration from evidence that suggests a calming effect of humming.

Methods: 14 healthy participants (nine females) participated in a 30-minute nasal breathing experiment, which included 5-minute wash-in and wash-out periods before and between two 10-minute sham and active conditions, administered in a randomized crossover, single-blind manner. Data were collected using a 64-channel high-density EEG. Brain data were analyzed using a network/graph theoretical approach with a custom Python pipeline that processed raw data into a 3D brain reconstruction.

Results: Sensor space power spectrum analysis and sensor/source space connectivity analysis Identifying unique activity in the somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobes. Additionally, the network assessment of connectivity in source space revealed a significant departure from default mode network activity. Visualizations that were not statistically assessed also supported the aforementioned trend.

Conclusion: The findings of this study align with a profile of multimodal integration. Despite the limited sample size, the variety of analytic techniques employed for convergence and the biological plausibility of the findings lend credibility to the results. The source space results of this project are particularly novel. If these findings are replicated in validation studies, devices like the Goodair Nosebuds could be valuable adjuncts in various neuro-therapeutic interventions.

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