A common issue in blood-related brain-function measurements, such as optical topography, is that the observed signals are usually corrupted with strong noise that is primarily spontaneous low-frequency oscillations (LFOs) in cerebral hemodynamics, which are difficult to separate from the signals due to functional brain activity because of their common spectral range. We discuss the analysis of information transfer between LFOs around 0.1 Hz in the hemoglobin concentration change (HbCC) in the cerebral cortex, the heart rate (HR), and the mean arterial blood pressure (ABP) to understand the origin of spontaneous LFOs in cerebral hemodynamics. As measures of information transfer, we used transfer entropy (TE) for two-variable system analysis and introduced intrinsic transfer entropy for further analysis of three-variable systems by extending the original TE. Data for analysis were obtained from simultaneous measurements with optical topography and infrared finger plethysmography under rest conditions. The analysis revealed that the LFOs in oxy HbCC, a parameter of cerebral hemodynamics, mainly stem from HR, but its contribution is only about 20%. In addition, the intrinsic contribution of ABP is about 5% and the common contribution of HR and ABP is about 10%. From these, HR and ABP cannot account for more than the half the information carried with variable oxy HbCC, which suggests the origin of LFOs in cerebral hemodynamics may lie in the regulation of regional cerebral blood flow change and energetic metabolism rather than due to the systemic regulation of the cardiovascular system.
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