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I'm computer science graduate working on a health monitoring device.

How much is the delay in electrodermal response? i.e., the time it takes before which an electrodermal response can be realized. Basically I want to calculate the rate or frequency at which the measurements should be taken without missing any relevant data.

Can someone please answer or give pointers to some article.

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What is the delay, or how long is the delay? I'm not certain what you are exactly interested in. – Steven Jeuris Sep 19 '13 at 12:58
"How long" is what I'm interested in knowing. Basically I want to calculate the rate or frequency at which the measurements should be taken without missing any response data. – mindreader Sep 20 '13 at 2:27

A starting point is the full text chapter "The Electrodermal Response", describes electrodermal response as being based on:

Interest in the conductance between skin electrodes, usually placed at the palmar surface, arose because of the involvement of the sweat glands in this measurement. Since sweat gland activity, in turn, is controlled by sympathetic nerve activity, this measurement has been considered as an ideal way to monitor the autonomic nervous system

Given that it takes time for processes in the human body to occur, the time delay or latency for the electrodermal response is due to, (from the article):

If one assumes initial resting conditions, then a sweat response consists of sweat rising in the ducts , and correspondingly R2 slowly diminishes. The response latency is associated with the time required for this to take place.

Further information that may be of use:

"Electrodermal response propagation time as a potential psychophysiological marker." (Silva et al. 2012). (Unfortunately the article is behind a pay-wall)

An important point from their abstract:

So far, there is still no clear consensus regarding the relation between the specific responses of the autonomic nervous system activity, and the features typically extracted from the electrodermal activity signals.


In this paper we present an experimental setup and corresponding data analysis for electrodermal response propagation time measurement.

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This is the setup I use, based on this article:

Braithwaite, J.J., Watson, D.G., Jones, R., Rowe, M (2013). A guide for analysing electrodermal activity (EDA) and skin conductance responses (SCRs) for psychophysiological experiments via the MP36R and AcqKowledge software. Technical Report #1, Selective Attention & Awareness Laboratory (SAAL), Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK..

Note that the frequency you choose depends of the specific EDA component you target. The page 8 of the cited article is quite fine to answer your question.

The channel sampling rate I chose is 2kHz.

AcqKnowledge Capture

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

These were very useful links

My understanding - The average time for which SCR response lasts is about 10 to 20 seconds. So even recording data at the frequency of 1 reading per second should be ok.

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