Fantasia Database Subset

DOI for
Fantasia Database Subset:


This “mini-collection” of human heart rate data was constructed as a teaching resource for an intensive course (“The Modern Science of Human Aging”, conducted at MIT in October, 1999 under the auspices of NECSI). As such, this specific collection is not intended for basic research or publications, for which the complete database, also available here, may be better suited. It may be useful, however, in other classroom or tutorial settings, and for self-guided explorations into the world of biologic complexity.

This collection consists of 10 heart beat time series: 5 young subjects (Y1.txt, Y2.txt, etc) and 5 elderly subjects (O1.txt, O2.txt, etc) from the Fantasia Database. You may download heartbeat.tar (410K), a UNIX tar archive of this entire mini-collection, also available in gzip-compressed form as heartbeat.tar.gz ( 79K). If you prefer, you may download individual recordings:

Records O1 - O5 and Y1 - Y5 of this subset correspond to records f1o01 - f1o05 and f1y01 - f1y05 of the Fantasia Database, which also includes the ECG and respiration signals for these recordings.

Each .txt file contains one column of data, consisting of interbeat intervals (in seconds). The .hea (text header) and .qrs (binary annotation) files contain the same data as in the .txt files, written in the standard formats used for other PhysioBank databases. The .tar and .tar.gz archives include only the .txt files. The length of each recording is approximately 2 hours.

Five young (21 - 34 years old) and five elderly (68 - 81 years old) rigorously-screened healthy subjects underwent 120 minutes of continuous supine resting while continuous electrocardiographic (ECG) signals were collected.

All subjects remained in a resting state in sinus rhythm while watching the movie Fantasia (Disney, 1940) to help maintain wakefulness. The continuous ECG was digitized at 250 Hz. Each heartbeat was annotated using an automated arrhythmia detection algorithm, and each beat annotation was verified by visual inspection. The R-R interval (interbeat interval) time series for each subject was then computed.


These 10 time series form a subset of the complete database described in:

Iyengar N, Peng C-K, Morin R, Goldberger AL, Lipsitz LA. Age-related alterations in the fractal scaling of cardiac interbeat interval dynamics. Am J Physiol 1996;271:1078-1084.

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Updated Wednesday, 19 August 2015 at 17:03 BRT

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