Semantic conditioning of salivary pH for communication

Carolin A. Ruf, Daniele De Massari, Franziska Wagner-Podmaniczky, Tamara Matuz, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Semantic conditioning of salivary pH was investigated as a new paradigm for binary communication. Methods and materials: In a sample of eleven healthy participants, affirmation or negation of presented statements were paired with milk and lemon to condition changes in salivary pH level. Results: Significant differences between the conditioned reactions were found at the group level. However, the analysis of pH changes on single-subject level revealed significant differences between affirmative and negative responses to the presented statements only for isolated samples in few participants. When classifying a change in pH value of more than .01 as correct response to a statement, only responses to affirmative statements reached mean accuracies of more than 60%. Conclusion: Improvements in the paradigm are necessary before testing it with the critical target population of patients to prove its profit for basic yes/no communication in case no other reliable means of communication could be preserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Binary communication
  • Classical conditioning
  • Salivary pH
  • Semantic conditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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