Scatterplot analysis of EEG slow-wave magnitude and heart rate variability: An integrative exploration of cerebral cortical and autonomic functions

Terry B J Kuo, Cheryl C H Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: To explore interactions between cerebral cortical and autonomic functions in different sleep-wake states. Design: Active waking (AW), quiet sleep (QS), and paradoxical sleep (PS) of adult male Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) on their daytime sleep were compared. Participants: Ten WKY. Interventions: All rats had electrodes implanted for polygraphic recordings. One week later, a 6-hour daytime sleep-wakefulness recording session was performed. Measurements and Results: A scatterplot analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave magnitude (0.5-4 Hz) and heart rate variability (HRV) was applied in each rat. The EEG slow-wave-RR interval scatterplot from all of the recordings revealed a propeller-like pattern. If the scatterplot was divided into AW, PS, and QS according to the corresponding EEG mean power frequency and nuchal electromyogram, the EEG slow wave-RR interval relationship became nil, negative, and positive for AW, PS, and QS, respectively. A significant negative relationship was found for EEG slow-wave and high-frequency power of HRV (HF) coupling during PS and for EEG slow wave and low-frequency power of HRV to HF ratio (LF/HF) coupling during QS. The optimal time lags for the slow wave-LF/HF relationship were different between PS and QS. Conclusions: Bradycardia noted in QS and PS was related to sympathetic suppression and vagal excitation, respectively. The EEG slow wave-HRV scatterplot may provide unique insights into studies of sleep, and such a relationship may delineate the sleep-state-dependent fluctuations in autonomic nervous system activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-656
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Electromyogram
  • Heart rate variability
  • Rat
  • Sleep state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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