Fractal analysis is a set of techniques used in the study of complex systems to understand patterns of variability that are often observed in non-linear and natural systems. These techniques have been successfully applied to the study of human physiology, such as gait, heart rate variability, and respiration (West, 2004). Understanding variability in physiological measures may provide insight into human performance, individual workload, and stress. As an exploration of the possible contributions of fractal analysis to human performance, heart rate data from an existing research study was re-analyzed using methods common in fractal analysis of time series data. Results indicate that variability was measurably different based on experimental manipulations, illustrating the potential utility of fractal analytic methods in understanding human performance. Researchers are encouraged to explore these methods for their own research.
Russell, S. M.,
Funke, G. J.,
Knott, C. C.,
& Knott, B. A.
(2009). Fractal Time Series Analysis of Human Heartbeat Intervals in a Change Blindness Task. 2009 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 262-267.