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Functional brain–heart interplay extends to the multifractal domain

Abstract : The study of functional brain–heart interplay has provided meaningful insights in cardiology and neuroscience. Regarding biosignal processing, this interplay involves predominantly neural and heartbeat linear dynamics expressed via time and frequency domain-related features. However, the dynamics of central and autonomous nervous systems show nonlinear and multifractal behaviours, and the extent to which this behaviour influences brain–heart interactions is currently unknown. Here, we report a novel signal processing framework aimed at quantifying nonlinear functional brain–heart interplay in the non-Gaussian and multifractal domains that combines electroencephalography (EEG) and heart rate variability series. This framework relies on a maximal information coefficient analysis between nonlinear multiscale features derived from EEG spectra and from an inhomogeneous point-process model for heartbeat dynamics. Experimental results were gathered from 24 healthy volunteers during a resting state and a cold pressor test, revealing that synchronous changes between brain and heartbeat multifractal spectra occur at higher EEG frequency bands and through nonlinear/complex cardiovascular control. We conclude that significant bodily, sympathovagal changes such as those elicited by cold-pressure stimuli affect the functional brain–heart interplay beyond second-order statistics, thus extending it to multifractal dynamics. These results provide a platform to define novel nervous-system-targeted biomarkers.
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Contributor : Herwig Wendt Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 9:20:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:02:40 AM


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Vincenzo Catrambone, Riccardo Barbieri, Herwig Wendt, Patrice Abry, Gaetano Valenza. Functional brain–heart interplay extends to the multifractal domain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2021, Issue: Advanced computation in cardiovascular physiology: new challenges and opportunities, 379 (2212), ⟨10.1098/rsta.2020.0260⟩. ⟨hal-03405116⟩



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