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Nature. 1999 Jun 3;399(6735):461-5.

Multifractality in human heartbeat dynamics.

Author information

  • 1Center for Polymer Studies and Department of Physics, Boston University, Massachusetts 02215, USA. plamen@buphy.bu.edu
  • 2Beth Israel Hosp, Boston, MA

Abstract

There is evidence that physiological signals under healthy conditions may have a fractal temporal structure. Here we investigate the possibility that time series generated by certain physiological control systems may be members of a special class of complex processes, termed multifractal, which require a large number of exponents to characterize their scaling properties. We report on evidence for multifractality in a biological dynamical system, the healthy human heartbeat, and show that the multifractal character and nonlinear properties of the healthy heart rate are encoded in the Fourier phases. We uncover a loss of multifractality for a life-threatening condition, congestive heart failure.

PMID:
10365957
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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