The skin conductance orienting response to semantic stimuli: significance can be independent of arousal.
ABSTRACT The characteristics of stimuli that elicit skin conductance responses (SCRs) have been conceptualized in varied ways, with strong emphasis on the significance or arousing quality of stimuli. Our goal was to determine whether "significance" can be shown to have an effect on SCRs independent of "arousal," using words as stimuli. Ratings of words indicated that significance is partially independent of arousal. In Study 1, SCRs from 43 participants during presentation of 20 significant, nonarousing words with a negative valence that were either depression related or potentially self-referent and 20 nonsignificant words matched on valence and arousal showed a main effect of significance. In Study 2 (N=44), significant, nonarousing words were sampled more broadly to examine the effects of self-reference and valence. Significance, rather than just negativity or self-reference, elicited SCRs independently of arousal. SCRs to significant words may reflect cognitive and attentional processes that, in turn, might prove useful for the assessment of the cognitive aspects of anxiety.
- SourceAvailable from: Gregor Geršak[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Electrodermal activity is a frequently measured physiological response in various applications. It is also being increasingly used in clinical applications. Numerous published papers report results of skin conductance measurements in absolute values, but few are concerned with the quality of results. This paper describes a procedure for metrological evaluation of skin conductance measurement. Three commercial devices for measuring skin conductance were calibrated by comparison with a precision digital ohmmeter used as a reference. Combined measurement uncertainty of skin conductance meters was calculated by means of uncertainty of reference instrument and uncertainties due to measurement repeatability, reproducibility, resolution and environmental condition. Additionally, a procedure for evaluation of the effect of electrode displacement and electrode gel was shown. A model of finger skin conductance profile was build. Measurement uncertainty analysis showed that contributions due to resolution and sensitivity of the measuring device, usually obtained from specifications, are negligible when compared to uncertainty of measuring method. Our results indicate that measurement uncertainty does not meet target uncertainty requirements for certain applications.Measurement 11/2013; 46(9):2993-3001. DOI:10.1016/j.measurement.2013.06.024 · 1.53 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A mixed-design experiment was conducted to explore differences between searching and surfing on cognitive and emotional responses to online news. Ninety-two participants read three unpleasant news stories from a website. Half of the participants acquired their stories by searching, meaning they had a previous information need in mind. The other half of the participants acquired their stories by surfing, with no previous information need in mind. Heart rate, skin conductance, and corrugator activation were collected as measures of resource allocation, motivational activation, and unpleasantness, respectively, while participants read each story. Self-report valence and recognition accuracy were also measured. Stories acquired by searching elicited greater heart rate acceleration, skin conductance level, and corrugator activation during reading. These stories were rated as more unpleasant, and their details were recognized more accurately than similar stories that were acquired by surfing. Implications of these results for understanding how people process online media are discussed.Journal of Media Psychology Theories Methods and Applications 01/2009; 21(2):49-59. DOI:10.1027/1864-1184.108.40.206 · 1.66 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Young patients with anxiety disorders are thought to have a hypersensitive fear system, including alterations of the early sensorimotor processing of threatening information. However, there is equivocal support in auditory blink response studies for an enlarged auditory startle reflex (ASR) in such patients. We sought to investigate the ASR measured over multiple muscles (whole-body) in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. Between August and December 2006, we assessed ASRs (elicited by 8 consecutive tones of 104 dB, interstimulus interval of about 2 min) in 25 patients and 25 matched controls using a case-control design and in 9 nonaffected siblings. We recorded the electromyographic activity of 6 muscles and the sympathetic skin response. We investigated response occurrence (probability %) and response magnitude (area under the curve in microV x ms) of the combined response of 6 muscles and of the single blink response. In patients (17 girls, mean age 12 years; 13 social phobia, 9 generalized anxiety, 3 other), the combined response probability (p = 0.027) of all muscles, the combined area under the curve of all muscles (p = 0.011) and the sympathetic skin response (p = 0.006) were enlarged compared with matched controls. The response probability (p = 0.48) and area under the curve (p = 0.07) of the blink response were normal in patients compared with controls. The ASR pattern was normal with normal latencies in patients compared with controls. In nonaffected siblings, the sympathetic skin response (p = 0.038), but not the combined response probability of all muscles (p = 0.15), was enlarged compared with controls. Limitations are the sample size and restricted comparison to the psychophysiological ASR paradigm. The results point toward a hypersensitive central nervous system (fear system), including early sensorimotor processing alterations and autonomic hyperreactivity. The multiple muscle (whole-body) ASR is suggested to be a better tool to detect ASR abnormalities in patients with anxiety disorders than the blink response alone. Abnormalities in ASR serve as a candidate endophenotype of anxiety disorders.Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 08/2009; 34(4):314-22. · 7.49 Impact Factor