Effects of hydration and hyperventilation on cortical complexity

Viktor Müller, Niels Birbaumer, Hubert Preißl, Christoph Braun, Gottfried Mayer-Kress, Florian Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of hydration and hyperventilation on conical complexity were investigated in a sample of 19 healthy volunteers in a double-blind placebo design using magnetoencephalographic recordings. The subjects were asked to abstain from the intake of liquids 18 h before the study. Spontaneous magnetoencephalograms (MEG) were recorded before and after drinking 750 ml water (WAT group: nine subjects) or saline solution (SAL group: ten subjects) with eyes closed and open and during hyperventilation (HV) with eyes open. The MEG data were analysed using both linear (spectral power) and non-linear (pointwise dimension and largest Lyapunov exponent) algorithms. The prediction that intake of water, because of induced cell swelling, will lead to an increased synchronization and a decreased complexity of the spontaneous MEG during hyperventilation was confirmed. Hyperventilation following the drinking condition produced an increase in all power spectra with a stronger increase of delta and theta power after drinking of water. This synchronization of spontaneous MEG is accompanied by a general significant decrease of conical complexity, especially after water drinking. Moreover, conical complexity was inversely related to delta and theta power and partly also to alpha power. The SAL and WAT groups showed different relations between alpha power and dimensional complexity during HV: whereas in the SAL group the correlations between these measures became more negative during HV, they reversed in the WAT group to become positive. The synchronizing effect of hyperventilation, leading to a decrease of conical complexity, is related in the SAL group to delta, theta and alpha power, whereas in the WAT group only delta and theta activity contribute to a reduction of conical complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Dynamic complexity
  • Hyperventilation
  • Lyapunov exponent
  • Osmolality
  • Pointwise correlation dimension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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