Determining Emotion from Physiological Signals

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The wearable Voight-Kampff machine.

Tom MeehanTom Meehan 09/05/2017 at 06:560 Comments

Outside of facial expression, what are the actual physiological measures that correlate with emotional response. The first thing most of us think of involve a Polygraph. While a Polygraph can be useful, it's main focus is on detection of stress or arousal (like in a Fight or Flight response, only more subtle). So, a Polygraph can determine areas that elicit a stress or arousal response in a subject but they are not really designed to determine the actual emotional response of a subject. In addition

Current theories on emotional response and categorization focus on 2 dimensions: Arousal and Valance.

Distinguish between 4 emotional states:


Sympathetic – Fight or Flight

Parasympathetic – Rest and Digest

Sympathetic and Parasympathetic responses to emotion (present as a chart)

Sympathetic Responses

Parasympathetic Responses