Attractor structure discriminates sleep states: recurrence plot analysis applied to infant breathing patterns

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2010 May;57(5):1108-16. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2009.2038362. Epub 2010 Feb 17.


Breathing patterns are characteristically different between infant active sleep (AS) and quiet sleep (QS), and statistical quantifications of interbreath interval (IBI) data have previously been used to discriminate between infant sleep states. It has also been identified that breathing patterns are governed by a nonlinear controller. This study aims to investigate whether nonlinear quantifications of infant IBI data are characteristically different between AS and QS, and whether they may be used to discriminate between these infant sleep states. Polysomnograms were obtained from 24 healthy infants at six months of age. Periods of AS and QS were identified, and IBI data extracted. Recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) was applied to each period, and recurrence calculated for a fixed radius in the range of 0-8 in steps of 0.02, and embedding dimensions of 4, 6, 8, and 16. When a threshold classifier was trained, the RQA variable recurrence was able to correctly classify 94.3% of periods in a test dataset. It was concluded that RQA of IBI data is able to accurately discriminate between infant sleep states. This is a promising step toward development of a minimal-channel automatic sleep state classification system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Plethysmography, Impedance / methods*
  • Polysomnography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Rate / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Stages / physiology*