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Title: Validity of electrodermal activity-based measures of sympathetic nervous system activity from a wrist-worn device.
Author(s): Denise J. van der Mee, Martin J. Gevonden, Joyce H. D. M. Westerink and ECO J. C. DE GEUS
Journal: International Journal of Psychophysiology
Year: 2021
Volume: 168
Pages: 52-64
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.08.003
File URL: /vuams-pubs/ValidityEDA.pdf
Keywords: Ambulatory assessment, Skin conductance level, Non-specific SCRs, Pre-ejection period, Stress
Abstract: Measuring electrodermal activity (EDA) on the wrist with the use of dry electrodes is a promising method to help identify person-specific stressors during prolonged recordings in daily life. While the feasibility of this method has been demonstrated, detailed testing of validity of such ambulatory EDA is scarce. In a controlled laboratory study, we examine SCL and ns.SCR derived from wrist-based dry electrodes (Philips DTI) and palm-based wet electrodes (VU-AMS) in 112 healthy adults (57% females, mean age =22.3, SD =3.4) across 26 different conditions involving mental stressors or physical activities. Changes in these EDA measures were compared to changes in the Pre-ejection period (PEP) and stressor-induced changes in affect. Absolute SCL and ns.SCR fre-quency were lower at the wrist compared to the palm. Wrist-based ns.SCR and palm-based ns.SCR and SCL responded directionally consistent with our experimental manipulation of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. Average within-subject correlations between palm-based and wrist-based EDA were significant but modest (r SCL =0.31; r ns.SCR =0.42).

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