Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, 1(9), 1070–1138p. (2010)

Methods and Applications of Non-Linear Analysis in Neurology and Psycho-physiology

E. Conte, O. Todarello, S. Conte, L. Mendolicchio, A. Federici

In the light of the results obtained during the last two decades in analysis of signals by time series, it has become evident that the tools of non linear dynamics have their elective role of application in biological, and, in particular, in neuro-physiological and psycho-physiological studies. The basic concept in non linear analysis of experimental time series is that one of recurrence whose conceptual counterpart is represented from variedness and variability that are the foundations of complexity in dynamic processes. Thus, the recurrence plots and the Recurrence Quantification Analysis (RQA) are discussed. It is shown that RQA represents the most general and correct methodology in investigation of experimental time series. By it we arrive to inspect the inner structure of the time series connected to the signals under investigation. Linked to RQA we prospect also the method CZF, recently introduced by us. It is able to account for a true estimation of variability of signals in time as well as in frequency domain. And, consequently, it may be used in conjunction with classical Fourier analysis, accounting however that it is inappropriate in analysis of non linear and non stationary experimental time series. The use of CZF method in fractal analysis is also considered in addition to standard index as Hurst exponent. A large field of possible applications in neurological as well as in psycho-physiological studies is given. Also, there are given examples of other and (possibly linked) applications as example the analysis of beat-to-beat fluctuations of human heartbeat intervals that is sovereign in psycho-physiological studies. We give applications on some different planes to evidence the particular sensitivity of such methods. We reach the objective to show that the previously exposed methods are also able to predict in advance the advent of ventricular tachycardia and/or of ventricular fibrillation. The RQA analysis gives good results. The CZF method gives the most excellent results showing that it is able to give very significant indexes of prediction. We also apply such methods in investigation of state anxiety, and proposing in detail a quantum like model of such phenomenological status of the mind.


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