Coupling and Decoupling between Brain and Body Oscillations

Neurosci Lett. 2019 Oct 15:711:134401. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.134401. Epub 2019 Jul 23.


Cross frequency coupling is used to study the cross talk between brain oscillations. In this paper we focus on a special type of frequency coupling between brain and body oscillations, which is reflected by the numerical ratio (r) between two frequencies (m and n; n > m). This approach is motivated by theoretical considerations, indicating that during alert wakefulness brain-body oscillations form a coupled hierarchy of frequencies with integer relationships that are binary multiples (r = n:m = 1:2, 1:4, 1:8…..). During sleep we expect an irrational relationship (r = n/m = irrational number) between brain and body oscillations that reflects decoupling. We analyzed alpha frequency, heart rate, breathing frequency during performance of a memory tasks and in addition spindle frequency from data collected by the SIESTA sleep research group. As predicted, our results show a binary multiple frequency relationship between alpha, heart rate and breathing frequency during task performance but an irrational relationship between spindle frequency, heart rate and breathing frequency during sleep.

Keywords: Body; Brain; Coupling; Decoupling; Oscillations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*
  • Young Adult