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Effects of Amylobarbitone and Nitrazepam on the Electrodermogram and Other Features of Sleep

  • Ijaz Haider (a1) and Ian Oswald (a2)

The elctrical resistance of the palmar skin, and the naturally-occurring difference in electrical potential between the palm and the dorsal surface of the forearm show simultaneous changes in response to sudden or emotionally-laden sensory stimuli (the ‘galvanic skin response’ or GSR). Spontaneous GSRs occur during wakefulness, especially in anxiety states, but they are reduced by general relaxation and it might be supposed that they would be absent during sleep of uniform EEG appearance. However, Oswald et al. (1959) reported that this was not so and that in sleep with very high voltage slow waves (today generally called Stage 4 sleep) there could be present random spontaneous GSR activity, measured by the potential difference technique. Since these electrical phenomena cannot be related to any known stimulus, to call them galvanic skin responses is inappropriate, and they may better be termed electrodermogram (EDG) activity.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Effects of Amylobarbitone and Nitrazepam on the Electrodermogram and Other Features of Sleep

  • Ijaz Haider (a1) and Ian Oswald (a2)
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