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Mutual Information Analysis of Brain-Body Interactions during different Levels of Mental stress

  • Autori: Pernice, R.; Zanetti, M.; Nollo, G.; De Cecco, M.; Busacca, A.; Faes, L.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Contributo in atti di convegno pubblicato in volume
  • OA Link:


In this work, we analyze brain-heart interactions during different mental states computing mutual information (MI) between the dynamic activity of different physiological systems. In 18 healthy subjects monitored in a relaxed resting state and during a mental arithmetic and a serious game task, multichannel EEG, one lead ECG, respiration and blood volume pulse were collected via wireless non-invasive biosensors. From these signals, synchronous 300-second time series were extracted measuring brain activity via the δ, θ, α, and β EEG power, and activity of the body district via the ECG R-R interval η, the respiratory amplitude ϱ and the pulse arrival time π. MI was computed using a linear estimator: (i) between {η,ϱ,π} and {δ,θ,α,β}, to measure overall brain-body interactions; (ii) between each time series and the others of the same district, to measure information shared within a district; and (iii) between each time series of a district and all series of the other district, to evaluate individual contributions to the information shared between brain and body. Results document the existence of statistically significant brain-body interactions, with high MI values involving mainly the η body dynamics and the δ and β brain dynamics. State-dependent variations were mostly relevant to the MI of the brain system involving δ, θ, α during mental arithmetic, and α and β during serious game. Thus, MI can be useful to detect correlated activity within and between brain and body systems monitored simultaneously during different mental states.