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Clin Neurophysiol. 2000 Oct;111(10):1889-98.

The development of a software program for analyzing spontaneous and externally elicited skin conductance changes in infants and adults.

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Department of Paediatric Research, The National Hospital, Pilestredet 32, 0027, Oslo, Norway.



Changes in palmar and plantar skin conductance (SC) are due to outgoing bursts in the postganglionic efferent sympathetic cholinergic fibres, which responds to changes in central arousal state. The purpose of this study was designed to develop a software program for analyzing spontaneous and external elicited SC changes for infants and adults.


The program was designed to calculate the number and mean amplitude of the waves as well as the mean basal level in a given period. Different pre-set values for the minimum amplitude, maximum slope and minimum width of the spontaneous waves were used in the analysis program, and the results were compared with manually counted waves. The program was also used to perform coherent averaging of repeated elicited SC changes. For the mean elicited skin conductance responses, the latency time, response amplitude and recovery time were calculated. The habituation pattern could be calculated semi-automatically by analyzing each response.


For SC waves, the minimum amplitude and the maximum slope should be, respectively, 0.02 microsiemens (microS) and 2 microS/s for infants and adults, and the width of the waves should be at least 1 s for adults, and unlimited for infants. The coherent average method was found to be a satisfactory method for revealing whether a subject responded to stimuli, and is recommended, especially for infants.


Spontaneous and stimulated skin conductance are easily analyzed by this software program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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