Send to

Choose Destination
Psychophysiology. 2002 Mar;39(2):246-53.

Comparison of finger plethysmograph to ECG in the measurement of heart rate variability.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.


Two experiments compared finger plethysmograph (FP) to electrocardiogram (ECG) in providing accurate heart periods for use in heart rate variability (HRV) calculations. In Experiment 1, simultaneous ECG and FP recordings were taken from 16 healthy subjects at rest. In Experiment 2, 10 additional healthy subjects were recorded at rest and during the Stroop Color-Word Test. In both studies, high correlations were found between FP-derived and ECG-derived band variance for high and low frequency HRV at rest. But, during the Stroop task, correlations were strongly diminished. In addition, under both conditions, HRV measures were significantly higher using the FP signal. Thus, FP may be adequate for determining HRV at rest, but, for experimental use, ECG may still be recommended. Nonetheless, further studies that include test-retest reliability assessment of both data collection techniques are warranted before a more certain determination can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center