About the stability of phase-shifts between slow oscillations around 0.1 Hz in cardiovascular and cerebral systems

Gert Pfurtscheller, Daniela Klobassa, Christof Altstätter, Günther Bauernfeind, Christa Neuper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One important feature of the baroreflex loop is its strong preference for oscillations around 0.1 Hz. In this study, we investigated heart rate intervals, arterial blood pressure (BP), and prefrontal oxyhemoglobin changes during 5 min rest and during brisk finger movements in 19 healthy subjects. We analyzed the phase coupling around 0.1 Hz between cardiovascular and (de)oxyhemoglobin oscillations, using the cross-spectral method. The analyses revealed phase shifts for slow oscillations in BP and heart rate intervals between -10° and -118° (BP always leading). These phase shifts increased significantly (p <; 0.01) in the movement session. The coupling between cardiovascular and oxyhemoglobin oscillations was less clear. Only 12 subjects demonstrated a phase coupling (COH 2 ≥ 0.5) between oxyhemoglobin and BP oscillations. This may be explained by an overwhelming proportion of nonlinearity in cardiovascular and hemodynamic systems. The phase shifts between slow cardiovascular and hemodynamic oscillations are relatively stable subject-specific biometric features and could be of interest for person identification in addition to other biometric data. Slow BP-coupled oscillations in prefrontal oxyhemoglobin changes can seriously impair the detection of mentally induced hemodynamic changes in an optical brain-computer interface, a novel nonmuscular communication system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2071
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)
  • Theoretical


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