- Award ID(s):
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- 2020 IEEE Sensors
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- 1 to 4
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- National Science Foundation
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Heart rate has natural fluctuations that are typically ascribed to autonomic function. Recent evidence suggests that conscious processing can affect the timing of the heartbeat. We hypothesized that heart rate is modulated by conscious processing and therefore dependent on attentional focus. To test this, we leverage the observation that neural processes can be synchronized between subjects by presenting an identical narrative stimulus. As predicted, we find significant inter-subject correlation of the heartbeat (ISC-HR) when subjects are presented with an auditory or audiovisual narrative. Consistent with the conscious processing hypothesis, we find that ISC-HR is reduced when subjects are distracted from the narrative, and that higher heart rate synchronization predicts better recall of the narrative. Finally, patients with disorders of consciousness who are listening to a story have lower ISC-HR, as compared to healthy individuals, and that individual ISC-HR might predict a patients’ prognosis.. We conclude that heart rate fluctuations are partially driven by conscious processing, depend on attentional state, and may represent a simple metric to assess conscious state in unresponsive patients.
Measurement of Post-Exercise Response of Local Arterial Parameters Using an Adjustable Microfluidic Tactile SensorIn this work, we demonstrate an adjustable microfluidic tactile sensor for measurement of post-exercise response of local arterial parameters. The sensor entailed a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microstructure embedded with a 5×1 resistive transducer array. The pulse signal in an artery deflected the microstructure and registered as a resistance change by the transducer aligned at the artery. PDMS layers of different thicknesses were added to adjust the microstructure thickness for achieving good sensor-artery conformity at the radial artery (RA) and the carotid artery (CA). Pulse signals of nine (n=9) young healthy male subjects were measured at-rest and at different times post-exercise, and a medical instrument was used to simultaneously measure their blood pressure and heart rate. Vibration-model-based analysis was conducted on a measured pulse signal to estimate local arterial parameters: elasticity, viscosity, and radius. The arterial elasticity and viscosity increased, and the arterial radius decreased at the two arteries 1min post-exercise, relative to at-rest. The changes in pulse pressure (PP) and mean blood pressure (MAP) between at-rest and 1min post-exercise were not correlated with that of heart rate and arterial parameters. After the large 1min post-exercise response, the arterial parameters and PP all went back to their at-rest values over time post-exercise.Clinicalmore »
Neural, physiological, and behavioral signals synchronize between human subjects in a variety of settings. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain this interpersonal synchrony, but there is no clarity under which conditions it arises, for which signals, or whether there is a common underlying mechanism. We hypothesized that cognitive processing of a shared stimulus is the source of synchrony between subjects, measured here as intersubject correlation (ISC). To test this, we presented informative videos to participants in an attentive and distracted condition and subsequently measured information recall. ISC was observed for electro-encephalography, gaze position, pupil size, and heart rate, but not respiration and head movements. The strength of correlation was co-modulated in the different signals, changed with attentional state, and predicted subsequent recall of information presented in the videos. There was robust within-subject coupling between brain, heart, and eyes, but not respiration or head movements. The results suggest that ISC is the result of effective cognitive processing, and thus emerges only for those signals that exhibit a robust brain–body connection. While physiological and behavioral fluctuations may be driven by multiple features of the stimulus, correlation with other individuals is co-modulated by the level of attentional engagement with the stimulus.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide with over 3 × 106deaths in 2019. Such an alarming figure becomes frightening when combined with the number of lost lives resulting from COVID-caused respiratory failure. Because COPD exacerbations identified early can commonly be treated at home, early symptom detections may enable a major reduction of COPD patient readmission and associated healthcare costs; this is particularly important during pandemics such as COVID-19 in which healthcare facilities are overwhelmed. The standard adjuncts used to assess lung function (e.g., spirometry, plethysmography, and CT scan) are expensive, time consuming, and cannot be used in remote patient monitoring of an acute exacerbation. In this paper, a wearable multi-modal system for breathing analysis is presented, which can be used in quantifying various airflow obstructions. The wearable multi-modal electroacoustic system employs a body area sensor network with each sensor-node having a multi-modal sensing capability, such as a digital stethoscope, electrocardiogram monitor, thermometer, and goniometer. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the resulting acoustic spectrum is used as a measure of breathing intensity. The results are shown from data collected from over 35 healthy subjects and 3 COPD subjects, demonstrating a positive correlation of SNR values tomore »
Ankle resistance with a unilateral soft exosuit increases plantarflexor effort during pushoff in unimpaired individuals
Ankle-targeting resistance training for improving plantarflexion function during walking increases rehabilitation intensity, an important factor for motor recovery after stroke. However, understanding of the effects of resisting plantarflexion during stance on joint kinetics and muscle activity—key outcomes in evaluating its potential value in rehabilitation—remains limited. This initial study uses a unilateral exosuit that resists plantarflexion during mid-late stance in unimpaired individuals to test the hypotheses that when plantarflexion is resisted, individuals would (1) increase plantarflexor ankle torque and muscle activity locally at the resisted ipsilateral ankle, but (2) at higher forces, exhibit a generalized response that also uses the unresisted joints and limb. Further, we expected (3) short-term retention into gait immediately after removal of resistance.
Ten healthy young adults walked at 1.25 m s−1for four 10-min discrete bouts, each comprising baseline, exposure to active exosuit-applied resistance, and post-active sections. In each bout, a different force magnitude was applied based on individual baseline ankle torques. The peak resistance torque applied by the exosuit was 0.13 ± 0.01, 0.19 ± 0.01, 0.26 ± 0.02, and 0.32 ± 0.02 N m kg−1, in the LOW, MED, HIGH, and MAX bouts, respectively.
(1) Across all bouts, participants increased peak ipsilateral biological ankle torque by 0.13–0.25 N m kg−1(p < 0.001) during exosuit-applied resistance compared to corresponding baselines. Additionally, ipsilateral soleusmore »
Targeted resistance of ankle plantarflexion during stance by an exosuit consistently increased local ipsilateral plantarflexor effort during active resistance, but force magnitude will be an important parameter to tune for minimizing the involvement of the unresisted joints and limb during training.