Situation Specific Arousal Analyzer (SSAA)


The Empatica E4 is a “medical-grade wearable device that offers real-time physiological data acquisition, enabling researchers to conduct in-depth analysis and visualization” (Empatica Inc., 2021). The Situation Specific Arousal Analyzer (SSAA) is an OS X / Windows application which uses E4 session data uploaded to E4Connect. The SSAA application has been devised primarily for use within the context of foreign language education for the on-off task physiological measurement and tracking of autonomic nervous system arousal (under certain conditions termed as anxiety). The SSAA focuses on the calculation of Heart Rate (HR), Heart Rate Variability (HRV) (time-domain methods, frequency-domain methods, non-linear domain methods), and Electrodermal Activity (EDA). The user interface can be tailored to meet a range of experimental conditions focused on either the micro analysis of arousal in time specific segments such as every few seconds during an L2 spoken presentation, or relative to longer macro periods of analysis such as across an entire classroom period. For the HRV time-domain, the beat-to-beat interval (NNMean) can be calculated once per 0.015625 (1/64) second while for the EDAMean it is possible to capture data once per 0.25 (1/4) second. For HR, the mean value of the HR (HRMean) and the standard deviation of the HR (HRSD) are calculated. For the HRV time-domain, the mean value of the beat-to-beat interval (NNMean) and the standard deviation of the beat-to-beat interval (NNSD) are calculated. For the HRV frequency-domain, low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and the ratio of LF and HF (LF/HF) are calculated. For the HRV non-linear domain, SD1 and SD2 Poincaré Plots are calculated. For the EDA analysis, the mean value of the EDA (EDAMean) and the standard deviation of the EDA (EDASD) are calculated. The SSAA generates and exports these results as tabulated CSV files and visualizations.


Example Data Output (L2 Spoken Presentation - Individual Data)