Correlation and similarity between cerebral and non-cerebral electrical activity for user’s states assessment

Gianluca Borghini, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Nicolina Sciaraffa, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human tissues own conductive properties, and the electrical activity produced by human organs can propagate throughout the body due to neuro transmitters and electrolytes. Therefore, it might be reasonable to hypothesize correlations and similarities between electrical activities among different parts of the body. Since no works have been found in this direction, the proposed study aimed at overcoming this lack of evidence and seeking analogies between the brain activity and the electrical activity of non-cerebral locations, such as the neck and wrists, to determine if (i) cerebral parameters can be estimated from non-cerebral sites, and if (ii) non-cerebral sensors can replace cerebral sensors for the evaluation of the users under specific experimental conditions, such as eyes open or closed. In fact, the use of cerebral sensors requires high-qualified personnel, and reliable recording systems, which are still expensive. Therefore, the possibility to use cheaper and easy-to-use equipment to estimate cerebral parameters will allow making some brain-based applications less invasive and expensive, and easier to employ. The results demonstrated the occurrence of significant correlations and analogies between cerebral and non-cerebral electrical activity. Furthermore, the same discrimination and classification accuracy were found in using the cerebral or non-cerebral sites for the user’s status assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number704
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Biopotentials
  • Brain activity
  • Correlation
  • EEG
  • Electrical activity
  • Human body
  • Human tissues conductibility
  • Individual alpha frequency
  • Machine-learning analysis
  • Mental states assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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