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. This article is part of the theme issue 'Advanced computation in cardiovascular physiology: new challenges and opportunities'.

Functional brain-heart interplay extends to the multifractal domain

Catrambone V.;Valenza G.
2021-01-01

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. This article is part of the theme issue 'Advanced computation in cardiovascular physiology: new challenges and opportunities'.
2021
Catrambone, V.; Barbieri, R.; Wendt, H.; Abry, P.; Valenza, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1121645
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