The complexity of electrodermal activity is altered in mental cognitive stressors


The aim of this study was to evaluate potential changes in the electrodermal activity (EDA) to enable the detection of variations in the sympathetic nervous system during mental load and recovery period. Several EDA parameters were used: SCA (skin conductance amplitude), frequency of NS-EDR (nonspecific electrodermal responses), SIE (symbolic information entropy), and ApEn (approximate entropy). The cohort consisted of 50 healthy students (average age: 23.33±0.24yr., 25 women). The stress profile consisted of five phases: baseline (P1), Stroop test (P2), recovery (P3), mental arithmetic test (P4), and recovery (P5). All phases of the stress profile lasted six minutes. The results indicate that the three EDA indices have sufficient sensitivity to detect changes in the sympathetic nervous system. The SCA, SIE and ApEn were significantly increased during mental loads and decreased during recovery periods. However, SCA remained significantly elevated during recovery periods versus baseline, and SIE and ApEn decreased significantly during recovery versus baseline. The frequency of NS-EDR had no significant changes during stress. The EDA is a sensitive marker for evaluation of changes during the activation of sympathetic nervous system under the influence of a load. Detailed knowledge of EDA regulatory mechanisms associated with stress could provide important information associated with autonomic dysregulation.

DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2016.10.014

Cite this paper

@article{Visnovcova2016TheCO, title={The complexity of electrodermal activity is altered in mental cognitive stressors}, author={Zuzana Visnovcova and Michal Mestanik and Michal Gala and Andrea Mestanikova and Ingrid Tonhajzerova}, journal={Computers in biology and medicine}, year={2016}, volume={79}, pages={123-129} }