Background: Poincare plots are commonly used to study the nonlinear behavior of physiologic signals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Poincare plot indices of human heart rate signals during meditation.
Methods: For this purpose, heart rate time series of eight Chi meditators available in Physionet database were used. Poincare plots with lags of 1 and 6 were constructed, and the ratio of the minor axis to major axis (SD1/SD2) and the area of Poincare plots were calculated for each lag.
Results: The results show that the SD1/SD2 ratio increased significantly during meditation compared to that before meditation, especially the index measured from Poincare plots reconstructed with a lag of 6 (p < 0.05). In addition, in both lags, the area of Poincare plots decreased significantly during meditation compared to before meditation (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The comparative dynamic measures of the Poincare plot indices during and before meditation give more insight of the heart rate signals in a specific psychophysiological state.