Recurrence Plots of Heart Rate Signals during Meditation

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Ateke Goshvarpour 1,* Atefeh Goshvarpour 1

1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

* Corresponding author.


Received: 29 Oct. 2011 / Revised: 15 Dec. 2011 / Accepted: 10 Feb. 2012 / Published: 8 Mar. 2012

Index Terms

Chaotic behavior, Heart rate, Meditation, Phase space, Recurrence quantification analysis


The current study analyses the dynamics of the heart rate signals during specific psychological states in order to obtain a detailed understanding of the heart rate patterns during meditation. In the proposed approach, heart rate time series available in Physionet database are used. The dynamics of the signals are then analyzed before and during meditation by examining the attractors in the phase space and recurrence quantification analysis. In general, the results reveal that the heart rate signals transit from a chaotic, highly-complex behavior before meditation to a low dimensional chaotic (and quasi-periodic) motion during meditation. This can be due to decreased nonlinear interaction of variables in meditation states and may be related to increased parasympathetic activity and increase of relaxation state. The results suggest that nonlinear chaotic indices may serve as a quantitative measure for psychophysiological states.

Cite This Paper

Ateke Goshvarpour,Atefeh Goshvarpour,"Recurrence Plots of Heart Rate Signals during Meditation", IJIGSP, vol.4, no.2, pp.44-50, 2012. DOI: 10.5815/ijigsp.2012.02.07 


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