Entropy production of multivariate Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes correlates with consciousness levels in the human brain

Matthieu Gilson, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Rodrigo Cofré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Consciousness is supported by complex patterns of brain activity which are indicative of irreversible nonequilibrium dynamics. While the framework of stochastic thermodynamics has facilitated the understanding of physical systems of this kind, its application to infer the level of consciousness from empirical data remains elusive. We faced this challenge by calculating entropy production in a multivariate Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process fitted to Functional magnetic resonance imaging brain activity recordings. To test this approach, we focused on the transition from wakefulness to deep sleep, revealing a monotonous relationship between entropy production and the level of consciousness. Our results constitute robust signatures of consciousness while also advancing our understanding of the link between consciousness and complexity from the fundamental perspective of statistical physics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024121
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume107
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

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