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Decomposing skin conductance into tonic and phasic components

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Overlapping phasic skin conductance responses (SCRs) obtained using short interstimulus interval (ISI) paradigms such as those employed in cognitive research, confound measurement of each discrete phasic SCR as well as the tonic skin conductance level (SCL). We report a method of resolving this problem using a modelling technique that takes advantage of the stereotyped nature of the within-subject SCR waveform. A four-parameter sigmoid-exponential SCR model that describes the entire response, was developed and extended to five-, six- and eight-parameter skin conductance (SC) models. These SC models were successfully curve-fitted to more than 60 SC segments, each containing one SCR or two overlapping SCRs on a sloping baseline obtained from 20 normal subjects. The SC segments were consequently decomposed into their components: the tail of the previous response, one or two SCRs and the SCL. The SCRs free of the complication of overlap were then quantified. The raw SCRs of the same data set were also measured using a standard method. The standard measurement showed a significant reduction of 15% in amplitude and 140 ms in peak latency compared to our method. The basic four SCR model parameters-onset time, rise time, decay time constant and gain-showed increasing inter-subject variability in that order. These SCR model parameters may be studied as variables in normal and patient groups and as indices of treatment response. This quantitative method also provides a means to assess the relationships between central and autonomic psychophysiologic measures.

Publication Date


  • 1997

Citation


  • Lim, C. L., Rennie, C., Barry, R. J., Bahramali, H., Lazzaro, I., Manor, B., & Gordon, E. (1997). Decomposing skin conductance into tonic and phasic components. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 25(2), 97-109. doi:10.1016/S0167-8760(96)00713-1

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0030899656

Start Page


  • 97

End Page


  • 109

Volume


  • 25

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • Overlapping phasic skin conductance responses (SCRs) obtained using short interstimulus interval (ISI) paradigms such as those employed in cognitive research, confound measurement of each discrete phasic SCR as well as the tonic skin conductance level (SCL). We report a method of resolving this problem using a modelling technique that takes advantage of the stereotyped nature of the within-subject SCR waveform. A four-parameter sigmoid-exponential SCR model that describes the entire response, was developed and extended to five-, six- and eight-parameter skin conductance (SC) models. These SC models were successfully curve-fitted to more than 60 SC segments, each containing one SCR or two overlapping SCRs on a sloping baseline obtained from 20 normal subjects. The SC segments were consequently decomposed into their components: the tail of the previous response, one or two SCRs and the SCL. The SCRs free of the complication of overlap were then quantified. The raw SCRs of the same data set were also measured using a standard method. The standard measurement showed a significant reduction of 15% in amplitude and 140 ms in peak latency compared to our method. The basic four SCR model parameters-onset time, rise time, decay time constant and gain-showed increasing inter-subject variability in that order. These SCR model parameters may be studied as variables in normal and patient groups and as indices of treatment response. This quantitative method also provides a means to assess the relationships between central and autonomic psychophysiologic measures.

Publication Date


  • 1997

Citation


  • Lim, C. L., Rennie, C., Barry, R. J., Bahramali, H., Lazzaro, I., Manor, B., & Gordon, E. (1997). Decomposing skin conductance into tonic and phasic components. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 25(2), 97-109. doi:10.1016/S0167-8760(96)00713-1

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0030899656

Start Page


  • 97

End Page


  • 109

Volume


  • 25

Issue


  • 2