Cardiovascular complexity is a feature of healthy physiological regulation, which stems from the simultaneous activity of several cardiovascular reflexes and other non-reflex physiological mechanisms. It is manifested in the rich dynamics characterizing the spontaneous heart rate and blood pressure variability (HRV and BPV). The present study faces the challenge of disclosing the origin of short-term HRV and BPV from the statistical perspective offered by information theory. To dissect the physiological mechanisms giving rise to cardiovascular complexity in different conditions, measures of predictive information, information storage, information transfer and information modification were applied to the beat-to-beat variability of heart period (HP), systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and respiratory volume signal recorded non-invasively in 61 healthy young subjects at supine rest and during head-up tilt (HUT) and mental arithmetics (MA). Information decomposition enabled to assess simultaneously several expected and newly inferred physiological phenomena, including: (i) the decreased complexity of HP during HUT and the increased complexity of SAP during MA; (ii) the suppressed cardiorespiratory information transfer, related to weakened respiratory sinus arrhythmia, under both challenges; (iii) the altered balance of the information transferred along the two arms of the cardiovascular loop during HUT, with larger baroreflex involvement and smaller feedforward mechanical effects; and (iv) an increased importance of direct respiratory effects on SAP during HUT, and on both HP and SAP during MA. We demonstrate that a decomposition of the information contained in cardiovascular oscillations can reveal subtle changes in system dynamics and improve our understanding of the complexity changes during physiological challenges.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Computers in Biology and Medicine|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
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