Causal scale shift associated with phase transition to human atrial fibrillation

Hiroshi Ashikaga, Konstantinos N. Aronis, Susumu Tao, Ryan G. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An example of phase transition in natural complex systems is the qualitative and sudden change in the heart rhythm between sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common irregular heart rhythm in humans. While the system behavior is centrally controlled by the behavior of the sinoatrial node in sinus rhythm, the macro-scale collective behavior of the heart causes the micro-scale behavior in AF. To quantitatively analyze this causation shift associated with phase transition in human heart, we evaluated the causal architecture of the human cardiac system using the time series of multi-lead intracardiac unipolar electrograms in a series of spatiotemporal scales by generating a stochastic renormalization group. We found that the phase transition between sinus rhythm and AF is associated with a significant shift of the peak causation from macroscopic to microscopic scales. Causal architecture analysis provides a quantitative tool to improve our understanding of causality in phase transitions in other natural and social complex systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Apr 28 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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