Institute for Language Sciences Labs


Measuring Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) with Biosemi equipment

Last updated on 22 October 2015 by Iris Mulders

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Galvanic skin response (GSR) can be measured with Biosemi equipment, either with or without EEG.

Available equipment:

  • 3 sets of GSR electrodes
  • 2 sets of separate CMS/DRL flat electrodes (when no EEG is measured, separate CMS/DRL must be used)

Some quick tips:

  • Check out Galvanic skin response – a short .pdf manual from Biosemi explaining where to put the GSR electrodes, as well as some technical details
  • If you are only measuring GSR (no EEG), we have found that it works best to put the separate CMS/DRL on the forehead, with the wires pointing backwards over the participant’s head.
  • Also see this Biosemi forum post with useful information about placing separate CMS/DRL, but note that we have found that placing the CMS/DRL on the arm or hand doesn’t work as well as placing them on the forehead – you can get it to work on the arm/hand though if you rub some gel into the skin (watch out that you don’t create a bridge) and wait for 15 minutes or so for the gel to sink in.
  • To measure only GSR (no EEG), in ActiView use the configuration file C:\Program Files\Biosemi\ActiView706_Lores\Only_GSR.cfg
  • Under Linux, monitors can get wonky. Make sure to disable sleep mode under Linux. Ask for help in room 0.09.