Friday, April 10, 2009

DIY Biofeedback Using GSR

My father's corner workbench was largely unmonitored and unsupervised with little safety instruction. We learned by doing and avoiding the wall outlet. The multimeter settings for reading skin resistance were found by trial and error and my first contact with electronic variables. Searching out GSR galvanic skin response (Wikipedia) possibilities for portable biofeedback gear, I was reminded of a discovery - pressure on the metal probes would influense the meter reading.

Building stable contacts with available materials, mostly rubber bands and paper clips in the pre-velcro age, was much less interesting than exploring the difference various liquids and mixtures made when applied to the skin. If only some instruction in controlling variables had been given I'd have a better idea about that critical age dependant piece of science instruction.

I'll be detailing my more informed experiments with GSR but wanted to capture some of the leads that are informing my investigations:

A new kit available at, The Truth Wristband, would cost about $54 dollars shipped to me, but is ready to assemble with a TRUTH laser cut transparent plate. These Maker items are fun kits with a lot of support and this one replaces a meter with color LEDs to cut costs.

The Scientology E-Meter (Wikipedia) is much more expensive and may not be available to you, but it is a GSR device that depends upon the Wheatstone Bridge (circuit secrets, diagram).

My plan is to modify the inexpensive Harbor Freight Cen-Tech Multimeter which has already been combined with a thermistor for learning fingertip temperature control. More to follow on that as soon as I find the nice photograph that details use and construction.

1 comment:

  1. I built a GSR meter with interface in a 'gaming' sort of framing, as a project in a beginners programming course. It's way less sophisticated but alright as a proof of concept and for learning!

    I would discourage anyone from getting a scientology E-Meter, they do not work in any way different from what you can do at you fathers workbench while being less accurate and the cost is only


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