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Intrinsic dynamics of heart regulatory systems on short timescales: from experiment to modelling.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2009
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Original languageEnglish


We discuss open problems related to the stochastic modelling of cardiac function. The work is based on an experimental investigation of the dynamics of heart rate variability (HRV) in the absence of respiratory perturbations. We consider first the cardiac control system on short timescales via an analysis of HRV within the framework of a random walk approach. Our experiments show that HRV on timescales of less than a minute takes the form of free diffusion, close to Brownian motion, which can be described as a nonstationary process with stationary increments. Secondly, we consider the inverse problem of modelling the state of the control system so as to reproduce the experimentally observed HRV statistics of. We discuss some simple toy models and identify open problems for the modelling of heart dynamics.