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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Evaluation of the Autonomic Response to Cognitive and Sensory Stimulations through Wearable Sensors

1
Institute of Clinical Physiology—National Research Council of Italy (IFC-CNR), Via Moruzzi 1, 56,124 Pisa, Italy
2
School of Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56,122 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to the present work.
Sensors 2019, 19(21), 4661; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214661
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 27 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Affective Computing and Sentiment Analysis)
Psychological stress is known to activate the autonomic nervous system (ANS), thus representing a useful target to be monitored to understand the physiological, unconscious effect of stress on the human body. However, little is known about how differently the ANS responds to cognitive and sensory stimulations in healthy subjects. To this extent, we enrolled 23 subjects and administered a stress protocol consisting of the administration of sensory (olfactory) and cognitive (mathematical) stressors. Autonomic parameters were unobtrusively monitored through wearable sensors for capturing electrocardiogram and skin conductance signals. The results obtained demonstrated an increase of the heart rate during both stress protocols, with a similar decrease of the heart rate variability. Cognitive stress test appears to affect the autonomic parameters to a greater extent, confirming its effects on the human body. However, olfactory stimulation could be useful to study stress in specific experimental settings when the administration of complex cognitive testing is not feasible. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomic nervous system; ECG; olfaction; skin response; stress autonomic nervous system; ECG; olfaction; skin response; stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tonacci, A.; Billeci, L.; Burrai, E.; Sansone, F.; Conte, R. Comparative Evaluation of the Autonomic Response to Cognitive and Sensory Stimulations through Wearable Sensors. Sensors 2019, 19, 4661.

AMA Style

Tonacci A, Billeci L, Burrai E, Sansone F, Conte R. Comparative Evaluation of the Autonomic Response to Cognitive and Sensory Stimulations through Wearable Sensors. Sensors. 2019; 19(21):4661.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tonacci, Alessandro; Billeci, Lucia; Burrai, Elisa; Sansone, Francesco; Conte, Raffaele. 2019. "Comparative Evaluation of the Autonomic Response to Cognitive and Sensory Stimulations through Wearable Sensors" Sensors 19, no. 21: 4661.

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