Sonification of autonomic rhythms in the frequency spectrum of heart rate variability
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This poster presents some of the work currently being done at the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland on heart rate variability biofeedback with a real time auditory display. Heart rate variability biofeedback is an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the work with a wide variety of chronic disorders. We use a proprietary building-block type laboratory computer program that is linked via MIDI to a software sequencer with a VST virtual instrument library. Beyond the sonification of RR intervals as discrete numbers, the development of new techniques became necessary in order to be able to sonify the dynamic, wave-like structure of autonomic rhythms in the frequency spectrum of HRV, what we call ''heartmusic''. The fact that patients can hear their inner autonomic activity as music in real time and so work with elements of their own autonomous rhythmic oscillations, may also add an important new dimension to this field in the future.