Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a direct readout of the body's sympathetic nervous system measured as sweat-induced changes in the skin's electrical conductance. There is growing interest in using EDA to track physiological conditions such as stress levels, sleep quality, and emotional states. Standardized EDA data analysis methods are readily available. However, none considers an established physiological feature of EDA. The sympathetically mediated pulsatile changes in skin sweat measured as EDA resemble an integrate-and-fire process. An integrate-and-fire process modeled as a Gaussian random walk with drift diffusion yields an inverse Gaussian model as the interpulse interval distribution. Therefore, we chose an inverse Gaussian model as our principal probability model to characterize EDA interpulse interval distributions. To analyze deviations from the inverse Gaussian model, we considered a broader model set: the generalized inverse Gaussian distribution, which includes the inverse Gaussian and other diffusion and nondiffusion models; the lognormal distribution which has heavier tails (lower settling rates) than the inverse Gaussian; and the gamma and exponential probability distributions which have lighter tails (higher settling rates) than the inverse Gaussian. To assess the validity of these probability models we recorded and analyzed EDA measurements in 11 healthy volunteers during 1 h of quiet wakefulness. Each of the 11 time series was accurately described by an inverse Gaussian model measured by Kolmogorov-Smirnov measures. Our broader model set offered a useful framework to enhance further statistical descriptions of EDA. Our findings establish that a physiologically based inverse Gaussian probability model provides a parsimonious and accurate description of EDA.

Point process temporal structure characterizes electrodermal activity

Barbieri R.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a direct readout of the body's sympathetic nervous system measured as sweat-induced changes in the skin's electrical conductance. There is growing interest in using EDA to track physiological conditions such as stress levels, sleep quality, and emotional states. Standardized EDA data analysis methods are readily available. However, none considers an established physiological feature of EDA. The sympathetically mediated pulsatile changes in skin sweat measured as EDA resemble an integrate-and-fire process. An integrate-and-fire process modeled as a Gaussian random walk with drift diffusion yields an inverse Gaussian model as the interpulse interval distribution. Therefore, we chose an inverse Gaussian model as our principal probability model to characterize EDA interpulse interval distributions. To analyze deviations from the inverse Gaussian model, we considered a broader model set: the generalized inverse Gaussian distribution, which includes the inverse Gaussian and other diffusion and nondiffusion models; the lognormal distribution which has heavier tails (lower settling rates) than the inverse Gaussian; and the gamma and exponential probability distributions which have lighter tails (higher settling rates) than the inverse Gaussian. To assess the validity of these probability models we recorded and analyzed EDA measurements in 11 healthy volunteers during 1 h of quiet wakefulness. Each of the 11 time series was accurately described by an inverse Gaussian model measured by Kolmogorov-Smirnov measures. Our broader model set offered a useful framework to enhance further statistical descriptions of EDA. Our findings establish that a physiologically based inverse Gaussian probability model provides a parsimonious and accurate description of EDA.
Autonomic nervous system
Electrodermal activity
Point processes
Signal processing
Statistics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1168445
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