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Biologists know that the cardiovascular and respiratory systems interact and coordinate via the baroreflex and other pathways, but there is still much to discover regarding the dynamical aspects of their communication. Synchronization patterns between the respiratory and cardiovascular systems evince their interaction. This thesis focuses on the synchronization of cardiovascular and respiratory activity. I analyze the frequency of this synchrony to determine patterns and characterize the systems’ adaptability to changes in the environment. I applied time series analysis and Markov processes to dynamical systems in an attempt to unearth meaning behind cardiorespiratory communicative mysteries. Through this research, I found that healthy subjects’ heart and respiratory rate patterns are more adaptable, and unhealthy individuals evince more synchronous behavior. Understanding the dynamics of these oscillations increases scientific knowledge of cardiorespiratory communication.


Approved by: Robert Hesse, Jennifer Schaefer, Kris Nairn, Anthony Cunningham

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