Effect of Rotating Acoustic Stimulus on Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Adults

Bhaskar Roy1, 3, *, Raghabendra Choudhuri4, Ambarish Pandey5, Sajal Bandopadhyay4, Sasmit Sarangi6, Sobhendu Kumar Ghatak2
1 School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur-721392, India
2 Department of Physics and Meteorology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur-721392, India
3 Department of Neurology, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, Connecticut 06030, USA
4 WINGARD, Institute of Visual and Auditory Research, Kolkata, 700012, India
5 University of Texas, South Western, Dallas, Texas, USA
6 Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, 02139, USA

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© Roy et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurology, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, Connecticut 06030, USA; Tel: 1-857-445-9112; E-mails:,


Acoustic stimulus can modulate the Autonomic Nervous System. However, previous reports on this topic are conflicting and inconclusive. In this study we have shown, how rotating acoustic stimulus, a novel auditory binaural stimulus, can change the autonomic balance of the cardiac system. We have used Heart rate Variability (HRV), an indicator of autonomic modulation of heart, both in time and frequency domain to analyze the effect of stimulus on 31 healthy adults.

A decrease in the heart rate accompanied with an increase in SD and RMSSD indices on linear analysis was observed post-stimulation. In the Poincaré Plot, Minor Axis (SD1), Major Axis (SD2) and the ratio SD12 (SD1/SD2) increased after the stimulation. Post stimulus greater increment of SD12 with higher lag numbers of (M) beat to beat intervals, when compared to pre stimulus values, resulted in increased curvilinearity in the SD12 vs. Lag number plot. After stimulation,value of exponent alpha of Dretended Flactuation Analysis of HRV was found to be decreased. From these characteristic responses of the heart after the stimulus, it appears that rotating acoustic stimulus may be beneficial for the sympathovagal balance of the heart.

Keywords:: Autonomic Nervous System, Rotating Acoustic Stimuli, Heart Rate Variability, Poincaré Plot, Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA).