Invisible Emotion, Anxiety and Fear: Quantifying the Mind Using EKG with mDFA
Fluctuation or variation of the heartbeat represents momently varying inner emotional tension. Can this psychological variations of the inner world, anxiety for example, is detectable and even quantifiable? Our answer to the question: Using a long-time electrocardiogram (EKG), we quantified them. We recorded EKGs by our own EKG amplifiers. The amplifier has a newly designed electric circuit, which enable us to record a stable EKG. The amplifier made it possible to record a perfect EKG where the EKG trace never jump-out from the PC monitor screen. Using this amplifier, we captured approximately 2000 heartbeats without missing a single beat. For the analysis of the EKGs, we used “modified detrended fluctuation analysis (mDFA)” technique, which we have recently developed by our group. The mDFA calculates the scaling exponent (SI, scaling index) from the time series data, i.e., the R-R interval time series data obtained from EKG. Detecting 2000 consecutive peaks, the mDFA can distinguish between a normal and an abnormal heart: a normal healthy heartbeat exhibits an SI of around 1.0, comparable to the fluctuations exemplified as the 1/f spectrum. The heartbeat recorded from subjects who have stress and anxiety exhibited a lower SI. Arrhythmic heartbeats and extra-systolic heartbeats both also exhibited a low SI ~0.7, for example. We propose that the mDFA technique is a useful computation method for checking health. The functional capabilities of various internal systems, such as the circulatory system and the autonomic nervous system, can be quantified by using mDFA.