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A New Sympathovagal Balance Index from Electrodermal Activity and Instantaneous Vagal Dynamics: A Preliminary Cold Pressor Study

A New Sympathovagal Balance Index from Electrodermal Activity and Instantaneous Vagal Dynamics: A Preliminary Cold Pressor Study

Conference Proceedings 2018: 3068-3071

Sympathovagal balance, an autonomic index resulting from the sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on cardiovascular control, has been extensively used in the research practice. The current assessment is based on analyzing Heart Rate Variability (HRV) series in the frequency domain by regarding the ratio between the low and high frequency components (LF/HF). Nevertheless, LF and HF powers are known to be both influenced by vagal activity which strongly bias the accuracy of this method. To this extent, in this study we combine time-varying estimates from electrodermal activity (EDA) and HRV to propose a novel index of sympathovagal balance. Particularly, sympathetic activity is estimated from the EDA power calculated within the 0.045-0.25Hz bandwidth $(EDA_{Symp})$, whereas parasympathetic dynamics is measured instantaneously through a point-process modeling framework devised for heartbeat dynamics $(HF_{pp})$. We test our new index $SV = EDA_{Symp/HF_{pp}}$ on data gathered from 22 healthy subjects (7 females and 15 males) undergoing a 3 minutes gold standard protocol for sympathetic elicitation as the cold-pressor test (CPT). Results show that the activation of the proposed sympathovagal tone is consistent with CPT elicitation and is associated with a significantly higher statistical discriminant power than the standard LF/HF ratio, also revealing different dynamics between female and male subjects.

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Accession: 065690476

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30441042

DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8512932

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