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Measurement of stress-induced sympathetic nervous activity using multi-wavelength PPG
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-14, 06:31 authored by Radhagayathri Udhayakumar, Saifur RahmanSaifur Rahman, Dilpreet Buxi, Vaughan G Macefield, Tye Dawood, Nicholas Mellor, Chandan KarmakarChandan Karmakar
The onset of stress triggers sympathetic arousal (SA), which causes detectable changes to physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, dilation of the pupils and sweat release. The objective quantification of SA has tremendous potential to prevent and manage psychological disorders. Photoplethysmography (PPG), a non-invasive method to measure skin blood flow changes, has been used to estimate SA indirectly. However, the impact of various wavelengths of the PPG signal has not been investigated for estimating SA. In this study, we explore the feasibility of using various statistical and nonlinear features derived from peak-to-peak (AC) values of PPG signals of different wavelengths (green, blue, infrared and red) to estimate stress-induced changes in SA and compare their performances. The impact of two physical stressors: and Hand Grip are studied on 32 healthy individuals. Linear (Mean, s.d.) and nonlinear (Katz, Petrosian, Higuchi, SampEn, TotalSampEn) features are extracted from the PPG signal’s AC amplitudes to identify the onset, continuation and recovery phases of those stressors. The results show that the nonlinear features are the most promising in detecting stress-induced sympathetic activity. TotalSampEn feature was capable of detecting stress-induced changes in SA for all wavelengths, whereas other features (Petrosian, AvgSampEn) are significant (AUC ≥ 0.8) only for IR and Red wavelengths. The outcomes of this study can be used to make device design decisions as well as develop stress detection algorithms.