Multifractality in human heartbeat dynamics
Journal Article

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Published: Thursday, June 03, 1999
Citation: Nature, Volume 399, Pages 461-465

Authors (1 total): P. C. Ivanov

Abstract: There is evidence that physiological signals under healthy conditions may have a fractal temporal structure1. 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 onevidence 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.