Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


We test whether the complexity of the cardiac interbeat interval time series is simply a consequence of the wide range of scales characterizing human behavior, especially physical activity, by analyzing data taken from healthy adult subjects under three conditions with controls: (i) a "constant routine" protocol where physical activity and postural changes are kept to a minimum, (ii) sympathetic blockade, and (iii) parasympathetic blockade. We find that when fluctuations in physical activity and other behavioral modifiers are minimized, a remarkable level of complexity of heartbeat dynamics remains, while for neuroautonomic blockade the multifractal complexity decreases.