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how to tell if person is asleep from skin potentials?

Jens Gallenbacher gallenba at rbg.informatik.th-darmstadt.de
Mon Sep 20 06:12:12 EST 1993

Michael Levin (mlevin at husc8.harvard.edu) wrote:

:      Is it possible, from electric potentials recorded from the
: surface of the skin, to determine whether the person being measured is
: drowsy/asleep? If so, does this have to be done from the scalp, or can
: it be done from the fingers of the hand (like in biofeedback)? If it
: can, how expensive is it to get a piece of electrical equipment which
: can do this? Are conductive creams required between electrodes & skin,
: or can the electronics amplify signals gotten from dry contacts? If
: anyone has any info, or any references, please email to
: mlevin at husc8.harvard.edu. 

: Mike Levin

I did not study medicin, so this is a non authoritive answer, but I've
done some workouts with electrical encephalography.

You *can* test, if a person sleeps or is in an equivalent condition, if
you look at the alpha - waveband of the EEG (taken from the surface of
the head - skin. Electrodes can be glued to the head, so that fixation
is guaranteed. Equipment for this simple task is about $5.000 (but I
do not have the newest pricelists).

At the fingers, you can not deceide, if the subject sleeps or is just
relaxing. Perhaps you could do something with the pressure of the blood,
but I have no experience with that.

Hope, that helps a bit,

ciao, Jens.

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