Assessing the evolution of redundancy/synergy of spontaneous variability regulation with age

A. Porta, V. Bari, B. De Maria, N.M. Perseguini, J. Milan, P. Rehder-Santos, V. Minatel, A.C.M. Takahashi, A.M. Catai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We exploited a model-based Wiener-Granger causality method in the information domain for the evaluation of the transfer entropy (TE) and interaction TE (ITE), the latter taken as a measure of the net balance between redundancy and synergy, to describe the interactions between the spontaneous variability of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and the effect of respiration (R) on both variables. Approach: Cardiac control was typified via the genuine TE from SAP to HP, that from R to HP, and the ITE from SAP and R to HP, while vascular control was characterized via the genuine TE from HP to SAP, that from R to SAP, and the ITE from HP and R to SAP. The approach was applied to study age-related modifications of cardiac and vascular controls in a cohort of 100 healthy humans (age from 21 to 70 years, 54 males) recorded at supine rest (REST) and during active standing (STAND). A surrogate approach was exploited to test the significance of the computed quantities. Main results: Trends of the genuine information transfer with age, already present in literature, were here confirmed. We originally found that: (i) at REST redundancy was predominant over synergy in both vascular and cardiac controls; (ii) the predominance of redundancy of the cardiac control was not affected by postural challenge, while STAND reduced redundancy of vascular control; (iii) the net redundancy of the cardiac control at REST gradually decreased with age, while that of vascular control remained stable; (iv) during STAND net redundancy of both cardiac and vascular controls was stable with age. Significance: The study confirms the relevance of computing genuine information transfer in cardiovascular control analysis and stresses the importance of evaluating the ITE to quantify the degree of redundancy of physiological mechanisms operating to maintain cardiovascular homeostasis. © 2017 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-958
Number of pages19
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • aging
  • autonomic nervous system
  • cardiovascular control
  • heart rate variability
  • interaction information
  • multivariate linear regression model
  • transfer entropy decomposition
  • adult
  • aged
  • arterial pressure
  • biological model
  • breathing
  • heart rate
  • human
  • middle aged
  • normal human
  • physiology
  • systole
  • young adult
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Respiration
  • Systole
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the evolution of redundancy/synergy of spontaneous variability regulation with age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this