Since april 2010 the new psychophysiological lab with two electromagnetically shielded rooms and state-of-the-art measurement equipment has been available. It allows us to analyze electrophysiological markers such as electrodermal activity (EDA), respiratory sinus arhythmia (RSA), fear potentiated startle and event-related potentials (ERP) in our clinical research.
Why a psychophysiological lab?
Psychophysiological parameters provide us with a complementary perspective on mental processes in addition to self-report and behavior observation. They can help us to assess unconscious and partly conscious mental activity as well as bodily changes correlated with mental states, such as stress or relaxation.
Computers and other devices in the control room allow us to present stimuli in the measuring cabin and record behavioral and physiological responses. We use the software E-Prime (PST) for stimulus presentation and the recording of behavioral responses and the software ActiView (BIOSEMI) for the recording of electrophysiological parameters.
In the electromagnetically shielded measuring cabins subjects are seated in front of a monitor and can respond using a keyboard, a mouse or a E-Prime response box for accurate reaction time measurement and can be monitored by webcam and microphone. In these cabins, only battery-powered (such as the amplifier) or direct current / low-voltage devices (such as the monitor) are used to minimize electromagetic noise.
After an experiment subjects often need to remove electrolyt gel from skin and hair. They can wash their hands and hair in the washroom of the lab. This room also serves for cleaning electrode caps, cables and sensors.
Experiments that assess only behavioral responses can be conducted in three additional cabins equipped with only a PC, E-Prime and serial response boxes.
Stimulus presentation and recording of behavioral responses
- ActiView (BioSemi)
Recording of electrophysiological data
Analysis of EEG-recordings
Analysis of other physiological data (such as EDA or startle)
For electrophysiological signal recordings, we have a BioSemi ActivTwo system with maximum of 80 channels. This allows us to collect a 70-channel-EEG along with peripheral signals such as ECG, EMG and EDA.
Ag/AgCl active electrodes for EEG and EMG, ECG
Ag/AgCl passive electrodes for EDA
Constant Current Isolated Stimulator DS3 (Digitimer Ltd.) for electrical stimulation of the skin
Courses in the lab
For prospective master- and diploma students and student assistants, we offer of the work in the lab with hands-on exercises in running experiments, aquiring physiological data and data analysis.
For an introduction of the E-Prime software, you can attend the course . This course takes place approximately once every year.
Room: 1.11 / 1.12
Lab manager: Dr. Diana Ferreira de Sá