Nonlinear analysis of heart rate variability signals in meditative state: a review and perspective

Author: Bhabesh Deka1, Dipen Deka2,3
1 Department of ECE, School of Engineering, Tezpur University, Assam, India.
2 Department of ECE, School of Engineering, Tezpur University, Assam, India.
3 Department of Instrumentation Engineering, Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar, India.
Conference/Journal: Biomed Eng Online
Date published: 2023 Apr 13
Other: Volume ID: 22 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 35 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s12938-023-01100-3. , Word Count: 339

In recent times, an upsurge in the investigation related to the effects of meditation in reconditioning various cardiovascular and psychological disorders is seen. In majority of these studies, heart rate variability (HRV) signal is used, probably for its ease of acquisition and low cost. Although understanding the dynamical complexity of HRV is not an easy task, the advances in nonlinear analysis has significantly helped in analyzing the impact of meditation of heart regulations. In this review, we intend to present the various nonlinear approaches, scientific findings and their limitations to develop deeper insights to carry out further research on this topic.

Literature have shown that research focus on nonlinear domain is mainly concentrated on assessing predictability, fractality, and entropy-based dynamical complexity of HRV signal. Although there were some conflicting results, most of the studies observed a reduced dynamical complexity, reduced fractal dimension, and decimated long-range correlation behavior during meditation. However, techniques, such as multiscale entropy (MSE) and multifractal analysis (MFA) of HRV can be more effective in analyzing non-stationary HRV signal, which were hardly used in the existing research works on meditation.

After going through the literature, it is realized that there is a requirement of a more rigorous research to get consistent and new findings about the changes in HRV dynamics due to the practice of meditation. The lack of adequate standard open access database is a concern in drawing statistically reliable results. Albeit, data augmentation technique is an alternative option to deal with this problem, data from adequate number of subjects can be more effective. Multiscale entropy analysis is scantily employed in studying the effect of meditation, which probably need more attention along with multifractal analysis.

Scientific databases, namely PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus were searched to obtain the literature on "HRV analysis during meditation by nonlinear methods". Following an exclusion criteria, 26 articles were selected to carry out this scientific analysis.

Keywords: Dynamical complexity; Entropy; Heart rate variability; Long-range correlation; Meditation; Phase-space representation.

PMID: 37055770 PMCID: PMC10103447 DOI: 10.1186/s12938-023-01100-3