Characterization of fear conditioning and fear extinction by analysis of electrodermal activity

Rose T. Faghih, Patrick A. Stokes, Marie France Marin, Rachel G. Zsido, Sam Zorowitz, Blake L. Rosenbaum, Huijin Song, Mohammed R. Milad, Darin D. Dougherty, Emad N. Eskandar, Alik S. Widge, Emery N. Brown, Riccardo Barbieri

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a measure of physical arousal, which is frequently measured during psychophysical tasks relevant for anxiety disorders. Recently, specific protocols and procedures have been devised in order to examine the neural mechanisms of fear conditioning and extinction. EDA reflects important responses associated with stimuli specifically administrated during these procedures. Although several previous studies have demonstrated the reproducibility of measures estimated from EDA, a mathematical framework associated with the stimulus-response experiments in question and, at the same time, including the underlying emotional state of the subject during fear conditioning and/or extinction experiments is not well studied. We here propose an ordinary differential equation model based on sudomotor nerve activity, and estimate the fear eliciting stimulus using a compressed sensing algorithm. Our results show that we are able to recover the underlying stimulus (visual cue or mild electrical shock). Moreover, relating the time-delay in the estimated stimulation to the visual cue during extinction period shows that fear level decreases as visual cues are presented without shock, suggesting that this feature might be used to estimate the fear state. These findings indicate that a mathematical model based on electrodermal responses might be critical in defining a low-dimensional representation of essential cognitive features in order to describe dynamic behavioral states.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
    Pages7814-7818
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9781424492718
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 4 2015
    Event37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015 - Milan, Italy
    Duration: Aug 25 2015Aug 29 2015

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
    Volume2015-November
    ISSN (Print)1557-170X

    Conference

    Conference37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015
    Country/TerritoryItaly
    CityMilan
    Period8/25/158/29/15

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Signal Processing
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Health Informatics

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