Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-xtmlv Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-30T16:03:12.142Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Comparison of electrodermal constant voltage and constant current recording techniques using the phase angle between alternating voltage and current

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2000

Department of Physiological Psychology, University of Wuppertal, Germany
Department of Physiological Psychology, University of Wuppertal, Germany
Get access


If electrodermal activity is recorded with direct current, constant voltage and constant current measurements result in different dependencies of electrodermal reactions on the actual electrodermal level. The present study demonstrates empirically that such a problem does not exist when instead the phase angle changes between alternating current and voltage are obtained. Forty subjects were subjected to a 20-trial habituation series on two different occasions, in which electrodermal level variations were induced by room temperature changes. A multiplexing system was used to enable quasi-simultaneous constant current and constant voltage recording under both direct and alternating current measurement conditions. If the alternating current technique was applied and electrodermal responses were expressed as changes of phase angle between voltage and current, electrodermal recordings with constant voltage and with constant current provided equivalent results, even if electrodermal levels were considerably different. Therefore, using the phase angle method instead of the conventional direct current methods will finally resolve the problem of differential level dependency in electrodermal recording. A further advantage will be that electrode and skin polarization are prevented by the use of alternating current.

Research Article
© 2000 Society for Psychophysiological Research

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)