Home - Research & Innovation - Research Laboratory for Methods of Psychophysiological Diagnosis of Human Functional States

Main research areas:

The research is focused on the development of ways to personalise and optimise psychophysiological methods for diagnosing human functional states. This is in line with the current trend in the world science to form a personalised approach in the research of individual human experience. Investigation of psychophysiological support processes of adaptive behavior of a person as a holistic entity in a changing environment, including the social one, is only possible by combining methods of the humanities, social and natural sciences. Systemic psychophysiological processes are considered in this study from the perspective of individual development, which, in turn, unfolds through the interaction of a holistic organism with the environment.

Research objectives:

  1. 1. To test the hypothesis that the structure of individual experience, which becomes more complex during ontogeny, is reflected in specific features of the dynamics of neurovisceral interactions and, accordingly, in non-linear characteristics of heart rate dynamics at different stages of development.
  2. 2. To identify neurovisceral interactions in different functional states in analytic and holistic subjects in order to study the influence of individual features (subject's mentality type) on the dynamics of functional states.
  3. 3. To determine the dynamics of neurovisceral interactions in children of different ages in the course of implementing social behaviour.
  4. 4. To develop effective strategies for developing the right competences in individuals, specialised trainings (including the use of biofeedback technologies) to provide students with the functional states that are most optimal for learning.

Key results:


An analysis of the dynamics of the entropy of heart rate variability in different age groups was carried out in the course of research planned for 2022.

A comparison of the two periods (rest and solution of a cognitive task) in different age groups revealed that there was a significant increase in the values of selective entropy (SampEn) of the heart rate when solving the task in the groups 8-12 (t=2.21, p=0.01), 17-21 (t=2.11, p=0.02), 22-35 years old (t=2.29, p=0.01). There were no significant differences in the remaining groups. Thus, solving a colour differentiation task, which can be regarded as a period of learning, is accompanied by an increase in entropy of the heart rate. The absence of such dynamics in the age group of 4-7 years old can be related to peculiarities of the autonomic nervous system development during this period and intensive growth of total heart rhythm variability. In the age group of 13-16 years old the absence of reliable changes in entropy of cardiac rhythm when solving the task is probably due to intensive hormonal changes that accompany this period. The absence of effects in the groups after the age of 35 can be explained by peculiarities of the neural mechanisms of learning during this period, in which the emphasis shifts from the formation of new systems for implementing a particular behavior to the restructuring of intersystem relationships. This once again emphasizes the peculiarities of the study of age-related effects of psychophysiological processes depending on the behaviour implemented within which these processes are observed.

A study of the dynamics of heart rate variability characteristics in the process of learning under conditions of higher level virtual reality and at a computer monitor was carried out. Continuous dynamics of heart rate of high school and undergraduate students (N=32, 24 were female, age 17-20) was recorded at rest (sitting, in silence, with eyes closed) and during two short lessons of the school science curriculum under different conditions. One lesson was conducted in virtual reality using Vive helmets. The other lesson was conducted on a computer monitor (74"). After the training programs (lessons), the students were offered test questions on the material they had listened to and a questionnaire for subjective evaluation of the lesson information in terms of novelty, complexity, comprehensibility of the material, etc. It was found that after working in the training programs in virtual reality the pupils demonstrated a higher number of correct answers to the test questions and evaluated the information in them as more new and complex as compared to the lessons at the computer monitor. At the same time, the dynamics of functional state did not differ between lessons, the degree of activation and tension according to heart rate indices equally increased during the virtual reality and computer monitor lessons compared to the background. Therefore, based on the data obtained, it can be assumed that the application of virtual reality technologies in education is more effective, as students show higher results with the same level of effort and activity.