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Analysis of heart rate variability signal in meditation using second-order difference plot

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3 Author(s)
Goswami, Damodar Prasad ; School of BioScience and Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700032, India ; Tibarewala, Dewaki Nandan ; Bhattacharya, Dilip Kumar

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In this article, the heart rate variability signal taken from subjects practising different types of meditations have been investigated to find the underlying similarity among them and how they differ from the non-meditative condition. Four different groups of subjects having different meditation techniques are involved. The data have been obtained from the Physionet and also collected with our own ECG machine. For data analysis, the second order difference plot is applied. Each of the plots obtained from the second order differences form a single cluster which is nearly elliptical in shape except for some outliers. In meditation, the axis of the elliptical cluster rotates anticlockwise from the cluster formed from the premeditation data, although the amount of rotation is not of the same extent in every case. This form study reveals definite and specific changes in the heart rate variability of the subjects during meditation. All the four groups of subjects followed different procedures but surprisingly the resulting physiological effect is the same to some extent. It indicates that there is some commonness among all the meditative techniques in spite of their apparent dissimilarity and it may be hoped that each of them leads to the same result as preached by the masters of meditation. The study shows that meditative state has a completely different physiology and that it can be achieved by any meditation technique we have observed. Possible use of this tool in clinical setting such as in stress management and in the treatment of hypertension is also mentioned.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:109 ,  Issue: 11 )