Psychophysiological Stress Profile: A Protocol to Differentiate Normal vs Pathological Subjects

Andrea Crocetti, Spiridione Masaraki, Silvia Merati, Roberta Menotti, Stella Forti, Gioacchino Aiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Psychophysiological stress profile examination is useful to quantify the level of individual stress reactivity. The aim of this study is to find differences between healthy subjects and subjects with psychopathological features. Methods: We have recruited 20 healthy subjects, aged between 25 and 40 years. Subjects with a history of psychopathological episodes, epilepsy, head injuries, drug abuse were excluded. This group was compared with one group of subjects with Major Depressive Disorder (MD), one with Panic Attack Disorder (PAD) and one with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Assessment of the psychophysiological stress profile was performed while the participants underwent a stress test, and included the simultaneous recording of the following variables: electrodermal activity, heart rate, surface electromyogram. The schedule of the stressors was: 2 minutes baseline, tactile stimulus, visual stimulation, painful stimulus, mental calculation, hyperpnoea. The total length of the profile was 30 minutes. For each variable, baseline, max value and mean value of the session were calculated and then compared across groups. RESULTS: Our study shows that healthy subjects present different profile compared to pathological subjects. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that our model is able to measure differences between healthy and pathological subjects. Therefore, it could represent a tool for the assessment of the patient, orienting the aims of the succeeding psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalActivitas Nervosa Superior Rediviva
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Assessment
  • Heat rate
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychophysiology
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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