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Waveform difference between skin conductance and skin potential responses in relation to electrical and evaporative properties of skin

Authors

  • Christian Tronstad,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical and Biomedical Engineering, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
    • Address correspondence to: Christian Tronstad, Department of Clinical and Biomedical Engineering, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Sognsvannsveien 20, 0027 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: chrton@ous-hf.no

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  • Håvard Kalvøy,

    1. Department of Clinical and Biomedical Engineering, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
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  • Sverre Grimnes,

    1. Department of Clinical and Biomedical Engineering, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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  • Ørjan G. Martinsen

    1. Department of Clinical and Biomedical Engineering, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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  • The authors would like to thank Professor Ellen Jørum and her staff at the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, for the accommodation and benevolent assistance with the QSweat measurements.

Abstract

The shapes of skin conductance (SC) and skin potential (SP) responses are often similar, but can also be very different due to an unexplained cause. Using a new method to measure SC and SP simultaneously at the same electrode, this difference was investigated in a new way by comparing their temporal peak differences. SC, SP, skin susceptance (SS), and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were recorded from 40 participants during relaxation and stress. The SP response could peak anywhere between the onset of an SC response to some time after the peak of an SC response. This peak time difference was associated with the magnitude of the SCR, the hydration of the skin, and the filling of the sweat ducts. Interpretation of the results in light of existing biophysical theories suggests that this peak difference may indicate the hydraulic capacity state of the sweat ducts at the time of a response.

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