Like to stress a crucial point regarding the specific

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like to stress a crucial point regarding the specific reporting of HRV data in scientific papers: currently, readers may find themselves frustrated when reading the result sections of HRV psychophysiological experiments because often the variables used to display vagal tone were not the same. This makes it extremely Frontiers in Psychology | 12 February 2017 | Volume 8 | Article 213
Laborde et al. Heart Rate Variability Recommendations TABLE 2 | Summary of recommendations for heart rate variability assessment – with a focus on cardiac vagal tone – for psychophysiological research – Experiment planning, data analysis, and data reporting. Parameter Recommendations Experiment planning HRV variables to assess A focus on vagal tone is recommended, vagal tone being measured through: RMSSD and pNN50 in the time-domain, and HF in the frequency-domain; additional parameters potentially of interest according to research question Within-subject design vs. between subject design Within-subject design Sample size Rule-of-thumb of 233, 61, and 21 participants to detect, respectively, small, medium, and large effect sizes, always accompanied by a power analysis using for example G * power 3 Experiment structure Three Rs: resting, reactivity, recovery Variables to control – stable and transient See Supplementary Materials (Data Sheet 1) HRV as dependent or independent variable Depends on research question Measurement standards Baseline recording Sitting, knees with a 90 angle, hands on thighs, eyes closed Measurement in ambulatory settings Possible but need to control for respiration and physical activity Movement For clear interpretation of psychophysiological phenomena, and specifically vagal tone: no movement HRV recording device and signal Device using electrodes and allowing to record ECG signal, only IBI is not precise enough for artifact correction ECG sampling Minimum 125 Hz, 500 Hz being seen as a conservative guideline Duration of recording Five minutes when possible to enable comparison between clinical studies, otherwise shorter recordings can be envisaged depending on research question. At least 1 min for when vagal tone is targeted with frequency analysis, ultra-short analysis for vagal tone possible with time-domain analysis (shorter possible according to research question), 24 h for long-term recordings; don’t compare recordings of different lengths. Respiration Do not systematically control for it (may bias the interpretation) – but assess it Data analysis Software Any software allowing editing of the ECG signal (for example Kubios) Artifact correction Based on ECG signal, manual or assisted by specific software Non-normally distributed HRV parameters Data transformation with natural logarithm Frequency-domain variables: absolute power, %, normalized units Always report at least absolute power Frequency-domain analysis method Autoregressive modeling (AR) should be preferred to Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) HRV variables to analyze

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