This research was supported by Grant A78415843 from the Australian Research Grants Scheme to R.J. Barry and J.G. O'orman, by a National Research Fellowship Scheme award supporting A. Kulkarni, and by a Special Project Grant from the University of New South Wales. A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in October 1987. The assistance of Eugene Galvin, Ajita Kulkarni, and John Parke in data collection and analysis is gratefully acknowledged.
Scoring Criteria for Response Latency and Habituation in Electrodermal Research: A Study in the Context of the Orienting Response
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 94–100, January 1990
How to Cite
Barry, R. J. (1990), Scoring Criteria for Response Latency and Habituation in Electrodermal Research: A Study in the Context of the Orienting Response. Psychophysiology, 27: 94–100. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1990.tb02185.x
- Issue online: 30 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Manuscript received March 14, 1988; accepted for publication January 6, 1989)
- Electrodermal activity;
- Orienting response;
- Scoring criteria;
- Latency range;
- Habituation criteria
Levinson and Edelberg's (1985) recent critique of scoring criteria for electrodermal studies pointed to the need to reduce the latency range used to define the electrodermal response. The present study examined the impact of such a narrowing of the latency window upon habituation and instructional effects in studies of the orienting response to low intensity innocuous stimuli. The first experiment found only a small effect of halving the latency window upon habituation to neutral stimuli, apparent as a strengthening of trends over trials. A second experiment showed somewhat larger effects with significant stimuli, apparent as slightly modified trial and group effects. These data support the view that nothing is to be lost by moving to a narrower latency range to define the electrodermal orienting response to stimulus presentation, and suggest that the advantages of such a change will become increasingly important as nonspecific electrodermal fluctuations increase with increasing electrodermal arousal. An analysis of habituation criteria within this context suggested that the choice of two rather than three no-response trials to define habituation adds to the benefits obtained by the selection of a narrow latency window to define the response.