Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science

Eswar Prasad

Will defend his thesis

Wearable Electrodermal Activity Sensing - A Validation Study


Electrodermal activity (EDA) is an important affective indicator, which is conven- tionally measured via Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) probes tethered on the fingers. Recently, a new generation of EDA sensors came into being, which are wireless and can be worn either as wristbands or open gloves. These sensors not only are more user-friendly and depending on their form, can be worn in various parts of the body, but also open possibilities for ambulatory affective studies. To inform the use of these sensors in such studies, we performed a rigorous lab validation, where we first established equivalence of sensing capability on the fingers between a classic GSR sensor and a wireless wearable EDA sensor. Then, we tested the effectiveness of wire- less wearable EDA sensing on the palm, the wrist, and the underfoot - three parts of the body with high innervation and concentration of eccrine glands. The valida- tion revealed that while EDA measurements on the palm and the underfoot, using this new generation of sensors, are as effective as GSR measurements on the fingers, EDA measurements on the wrist are of poor quality due to the absence of signal. The validation method employed startle stimuli which are considered standard, but minimal ways to instantaneously arouse the sympathetic system, thus establishing the sensor and placement resolution limit.


Date: Friday, November 8, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: HSBC 302

Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Prof. Ioannis Pavlidis