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Biofeedback Experiments 2

July 23, 2007

Can we see any difference in IHR between meditation (such as my skills are) and reading Ann Coulter’s web site?  It turns out there are clear differences.

IHR Comparison Plot 

The y-scale is instantaneous heart rate (IHR).  The Red curve is
"Reading Ann Coulter" while the Blue curve is "Meditation."  Each curve
respresent the same amount of time recording with the
LightStone (see previous post).

 

First you can see that nearly all of the points on the Red curve are well above the Blue curve.  My average heart rate for the upper curve was 85.9; for the lower, 65.9.  (By the way, actual time in minutes is x-scale time divided by 60,000 so the elapsed time is about 3.5 minutes.) But also to variation in heat rate in the Blue curve is much more coherent.  To make this clearer, here is the power spectrum for each curve.

 

Power Spectrum
Power Spectrum [Abs(Descrete FFT)^2] from two equal time peiodes of
heart rate recording.  The upper curve (Blue) is meditating, while the lower (Red)
was recorded while I read Ann Coulter’s web site.
  

 

The 3-4 strong peaks at the far left (the right half is a mirror image, an artifact of the FFT algorithm) in the upper power spectrum correspond the strong frequencies present in the HRV during meditation while the power spectum is spread into the upper frequencies in the lower plot.

Which is better for you? (We humans tend to like regualar patterns, so by that measure, meditation is "better".) Without knowing much more about the interactions of the systems are work here, it is hard to say.

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