Phase Synchronization Phenomena in Physiological Signals

Ronny Bartsch

Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan-University Ramat Gan 52900, Israel


Synchronization phenomena are ubiquitous in many natural systems and relevant in several examples studied in experimental and theoretical physics. After presenting an overview, I will discuss phase synchronization in physiological systems with a focus on methods quantifying the strength of phase synchronization between two coupled oscillators. Phase synchronization analysis (PSA) is a quite general method, traditionally applied to study interactions within complex systems in nonlinear dynamics. How-ever, the method can be used to investigate all kinds of oscillatory processes. In the second part of my talk I will focus on two applications of PSA to characterize (i) the phase synchronization between human heartbeat and respiration showing significant differences between REM and nonREM sleep [1], and (ii) the level of bilateral coordination in human gait, that is decreased in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease [2].  


[1] R. Bartsch et al., Experimental evidence for phase synchronization transitions in human cardio-respiratory system, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 054102 (2007).

[2] R. Bartsch et al., Fluctuation and synchronization of gait intervals and gait force profiles distinguish stages of Parkinson's disease, Physica A 383, 455 (2007).