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Analysis of Electroencephalogram, Electrodermal Activities, and Heart Rate Changes Under Varied Degree of Mental Arithmetic Tasks

Singh, Nishant MSc; Sinha, Rakesh Kumar PhD

doi: 10.1097/JCE.0000000000000126

Mental calculation demanding tasks cause changes in the autonomic modulation of the cardiac function, along with changes in skin resistance and brain activity. This experiment is designed to examine the changes in autonomic response parameters, the heart rate tachogram, and electrodermal activity (EDA), along with the electroencephalogram in young individuals in the performance of 2 levels of arithmetic mental calculation tasks. Three male participants had performed the 2 levels of mental arithmetic (MA) calculations, that is, 15 easy and 15 calculative. Each task was for 10 seconds, for both easy and calculative, and presented in a random manner, and digital data of electrocardiogram, EDA, and electroencephalogram were acquired. Decreased heart rate in the calculative task as compared with easy task was obtained in tachogram. Electrodermal activity from the easy MA task showed higher values when compared with those obtained during the calculative MA task. α Waves from the Cz and Pz positions showed synchronization and a higher power in the power spectrum analysis for the calculative task in comparison to the easy task. With increased complexity in MA assignments, the involvement of brain is evaluated with synchronized alpha activities. Furthermore, with synchronized neuronal firing, the heart rate was also found unchanged, and EDA decreases are influenced by the autonomic nervous system under increased complexity of the MA task.

Corresponding author: Rakesh Kumar Sinha, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Bio-Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi Jharkhand, India. He can be reached at

Nishant Singh, MSc, is a research scholar in the Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.

Financial support was provided by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India, under Major Research Project (F. No. 36-60/2008 [SR]).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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