Recording Methods in Applied Environments
Jochen Fahrenberg Forschungsgruppe Psychophysiologie, University of Freiburg, Germany Cornelis J. E. Wientjes TNO Human Factors Research Institute, The Netherlands
Recording methods in applied environments make increasing use of new techniques for the acquisition of physiological and psychological data. Portable multichannel recorder/analyzer systems and handheld computers provide new means of ambulatory assessment and foster a more ecologically valid approach to many issues in the applied fields. In this chapter, such developments are reviewed with particular emphasis on ambulatory techniques.
In applied and environmental physiology and psychophysiology, many investigations have been conducted using standard laboratory equipment moved to and installed at the workplace. However, bulky electronic apparatus and connecting cables impose clear restrictions on the subject's behavior. The development of lightweight portable recorders that allow for monitoring of the electrocardiogram (ECG) or blood pressure without restrictions on mobility have furthered the application of ambulatory assessment methodology beyond the medical field.
A comprehensive overview of physiological measurement at the workplace, including issues like choice and placement of electrodes and sensors, recorder technology, signal processing and parameter abstraction, would require more space than is available here. There are, however, a number of suitable books, manuals and guidelines on psychophysiological methods ( Cacioppo & Tassinary, 1990; Hugdahl, 1995; Martin & Venables, 1980; Rösler, in press;