Arousal Detection in Elderly People from Electrodermal Activity Using Musical Stimuli

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Aug 25;20(17):4788. doi: 10.3390/s20174788.


The detection of emotions is fundamental in many areas related to health and well-being. This paper presents the identification of the level of arousal in older people by monitoring their electrodermal activity (EDA) through a commercial device. The objective was to recognize arousal changes to create future therapies that help them to improve their mood, contributing to reduce possible situations of depression and anxiety. To this end, some elderly people in the region of Murcia were exposed to listening to various musical genres (flamenco, Spanish folklore, Cuban genre and rock/jazz) that they heard in their youth. Using methods based on the process of deconvolution of the EDA signal, two different studies were carried out. The first, of a purely statistical nature, was based on the search for statistically significant differences for a series of temporal, morphological, statistical and frequency features of the processed signals. It was found that Flamenco and Spanish Folklore presented the highest number of statistically significant parameters. In the second study, a wide range of classifiers was used to analyze the possible correlations between the detection of the EDA-based arousal level compared to the participants' responses to the level of arousal subjectively felt. In this case, it was obtained that the best classifiers are support vector machines, with 87% accuracy for flamenco and 83.1% for Spanish Folklore, followed by K-nearest neighbors with 81.4% and 81.5% for Flamenco and Spanish Folklore again. These results reinforce the notion of familiarity with a musical genre on emotional induction.

Keywords: aging adults; arousal; electrodermal activity; musical genres.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety
  • Arousal
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Emotions
  • Galvanic Skin Response*
  • Humans
  • Music*