Time-series analysis for rapid event-related skin conductance responses

J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Nov 15;184(2):224-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 15.


Event-related skin conductance responses (SCRs) are traditionally analysed by comparing the amplitude of individual peaks against a pre-stimulus baseline. Many experimental manipulations in cognitive neuroscience dictate paradigms with short inter trial intervals, precluding accurate baseline estimation for SCR measurements. Here, we present a novel and general approach to SCR analysis, derived from methods used in neuroimaging that estimate responses using a linear convolution model. In effect, the method obviates peak-scoring and makes use of the full SCR. We demonstrate, across three experiments, that the method has face validity in analysing reactions to a loud white noise and emotional pictures, can be generalised to paradigms where the shape of the response function is unknown and can account for parametric trial-by-trial effects. We suggest our approach provides greater flexibility in analysing SCRs than existing methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Artifacts
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electrophysiology / instrumentation
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Software*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult