According to the embodied approach to cognition, in order to get a full picture of what our mind is and how it works, it is important to go beyond the brain and investigate the contribution of the whole body to our various cognitive activities such as perception, social interaction, and problem solving. In our unit we aim to capture this contribution by recording different body signals with the use of sensors and amplifiers provided by BrainProducts. Specifically:
EMG (electromyograph) records electrical activity produced by the contraction of muscles. We have a set of electrodes specifically designed to capture both large and small muscle groups which allows us to record activity in a variety of tasks from manual actions to facial expressions during speaking and emotional displays.
ECG (electrocardiograph) records electrical activity produced by a specific muscle – the heart. The raw signal can be further processed to deliver a number of measures such as heart rate or heart rate variability that have been found to correlate with a number of psychological processes.
EDA (electrodermal activity) is a change of electrical properties that accompany sweating and that can be detected on the skin surface. This change can be a result of both non-psychological (temperature or humidity) and psychological factors (emotions). BrainProducts provides a specific GSR module that guarantees high-quality data and is very convenient to use.
Respiration belt is a belt worn around the chest with an incorporated stretch sensor that responds to breathing movements. This allows us to estimate the amount of air inhaled and record the breathing rhythm. BrainProducts provides a pneumatic-based belt that consists of a passive component worn around the subject, a tube that translates changes of air pressure to the transducer and a transducer that converts these changes into electrical signals.