Computing emotion awareness through galvanic skin response and facial electromyography

Joyce H.D.M. Westerink, Egon van den Broek, Marleen H. Schut, Jan van Herk, Kees Tuinenbreijer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    320 Downloads (Pure)


    To improve human-computer interaction (HCI), computers need to recognize and respond properly to their user’s emotional state. This is a fundamental application of affective computing, which relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotion. As a first step to a system that recognizes emotions of individual users, this research focuses on how emotional experiences are expressed in six parameters (i.e., mean, absolute deviation, standard deviation, variance, skewness, and kurtosis) of not baseline-corrected physiological measurements of the galvanic skin response (GSR) and of three electromyography signals: frontalis (EMG1), corrugator supercilii (EMG2), and zygomaticus major (EMG3). The 24 participants were asked to watch film scenes of 120 seconds, which they rated afterward. These ratings enabled us to distinguish four categories of emotions: negative, positive, mixed, and neutral. The skewness and kurtosis of the GSR, the skewness of the EMG2, and four parameters of EMG3, discriminate between the four emotion categories. This, despite the coarse time windows that were used. Moreover, rapid processing of the signals proved to be possible. This enables tailored HCI facilitated by an emotional awareness of systems.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProbing Experience: From academic research to commercial propositions
    EditorsJoyce H.D.M. Westerink, Martin Ouwerkerk, Thérése Overbeek, W. Frank Pasveer, Boris de Ruyter
    Place of PublicationDordrecht, The Netherlands
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-6592-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Publication series

    NamePhilips Research Book Series
    PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media B.V.
    ISSN (Print)1571-5671


    • METIS-252701
    • Emotion
    • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
    • Affective Computing
    • IR-78631
    • HMI-CI: Computational Intelligence
    • baselining
    • film scenes
    • galvanic skin response (GSR)
    • electromyography (EMG)
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors
    • EWI-20853

    Cite this

    Westerink, J. H. D. M., van den Broek, E., Schut, M. H., van Herk, J., & Tuinenbreijer, K. (2008). Computing emotion awareness through galvanic skin response and facial electromyography. In J. H. D. M. Westerink, M. Ouwerkerk, T. Overbeek, W. F. Pasveer, & B. de Ruyter (Eds.), Probing Experience: From academic research to commercial propositions (pp. 149-162). (Philips Research Book Series; Vol. 8, No. 2). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.