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J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Nov 15;184(2):224-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

Time-series analysis for rapid event-related skin conductance responses.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom.


Event-related skin conductance responses (SCRs) are traditionally analysed by comparing the amplitude of individual peaks against a pre-stimulus baseline. Many experimental manipulations in cognitive neuroscience dictate paradigms with short inter trial intervals, precluding accurate baseline estimation for SCR measurements. Here, we present a novel and general approach to SCR analysis, derived from methods used in neuroimaging that estimate responses using a linear convolution model. In effect, the method obviates peak-scoring and makes use of the full SCR. We demonstrate, across three experiments, that the method has face validity in analysing reactions to a loud white noise and emotional pictures, can be generalised to paradigms where the shape of the response function is unknown and can account for parametric trial-by-trial effects. We suggest our approach provides greater flexibility in analysing SCRs than existing methods.

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