Electrodermal activity in euthymic patients with affective disorders: One-year retest stability and the effects of stimulus intensity and significance

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Abstract

Examined the effects of stimulus intensity and meaningfulness on the electrodermal activity (EDA) of patients with remitted major affective disorders in 22 unipolar (mean age 41 yrs), 22 bipolar (mean age 38.5 yrs), and 26 normal control (mean age 41.5 yrs) Ss. 29 of the affective disorder patients and 23 of the control Ss participated in a study of EDA conducted 1 yr earlier by the 1st author and colleagues (1983). Ss blew up a balloon until it burst and were exposed to 8 86-db tones, 12 105-db tones and 8 familiar sounds that reached a peak intensity of 105 db. Skin conductance was recorded bilaterally and averaged over hands. Results indicate that, compared to the control Ss, the affective disorder patients responded significantly less to the balloon task, the 105-db tones, and the familiar sounds. The affective-disorder groups had lower tonic levels than did the controls. Several measures of EDA displayed moderately high 1-yr retest stability. The pattern of findings is consistent with the hypothesis that depressed EDA may be a trait characterizing those who are prone to major affective disorder. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume93
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1984

Keywords

  • intensity of auditory stimulus & meaningfulness, electrodermal activity, unipolar & bipolar depressed patients with mean ages of 41 & 38.5 yrs

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