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PhysioData Toolbox

The PhysioData Toolbox is a free easy-to-use and fully graphical application for visualizing, segmenting and analyzing physiological data. It currently supports ECG, Skin Conductance, EMG, ICG, Blood Pressure, Respiration, Pupil Size and Gaze AOI hit data.


The PhysioData Toolbox is designed to fullfil the following purposes:

  • PhysioData file format:
    The Toolbox defines a standard MATLAB-based file format for managing physiological data and analyses (the PhysioData format).

  • File Converter:
    A File Converter is included that easily converts various raw data formats into PhysioData files.

  • Batch import of files:
    The Toolbox can import complete folders of PhysioData files and visualize their raw data.

  • Batch preprocessing:
    Pre-built preprocessing pipelines are packaged as modules and can be easily configured and applied the imported files. See the current modules.

  • Visual inspection and artifact removal:
    All modules feature easy-to-use interfaces for reviewing the preprocessed data and manually removing artifacts.

  • Automatic epoch generation:
    Epochs can be automatically generated using user-specified rules, which can reference markers and events inside the data file.

  • Batch epoch analysis and resampling:
    The Toolbox can automatically summarize or resample all epochs in the imported files, and export the results for further statistical analysis.

Session Manager

The PhysioData Toolbox is operated using the Session Manager window, which can be used to import multiple files and apply user-specified analysis procedures to them. All files can then be analyzed simultaneously, and their results consolidated into a single table. Additionally, the session can be saved at any time and resumed afterwards. All analysis pipelines are fully parametric and non-destructive.

Session Manager
Figure 1: The Session Manager, which is the main toolbox window. It manages the PhysioData files, the PhysioAnalyzer modules and the data export.


The Toolbox features various modules, each containing an adjustable analysis pipeline specific to a certain data type. For the full documentation, see the PhysioAnalyzer page in the User Guide.

Generic Signal Analyzer

Any generic signal, such as skin temperature, can be analyzed using the Generic Signal Analyzer module, which extracts standard descriptive statistics from the signal per epoch. Additionally, like most other modules, the Generic Signal Analyzer allows the user to perform basic signal correction and artifact rejection.

Figure 2: A Generic Signal Analyzer tagged HR, showing a heart-rate signal as calculated in real-time using AcqKnowledge.

ECG Signal Analyzer

The ECG Signal Analyzer module lets the user preprocess and analyze a raw ECG signal. It can extract various cardiac measures per epoch; such as, mean heart rate, HRV (RMSSD, pNN20 and pNN50), R-peak count, etc. Additionally, the module allows the user to correct misidentified R-peaks and erroneous Interbeat Intervals (IBIs).

Figure 3: The ECG Signal Analyzer interface, showing the raw and filtered ECG signals, the detected R-peaks, the IBIs and the instantaneous heart rate.

IBI Analyzer

The IBI Analyzer module performs heartbeat locked analysis around user-specified events, which can be used to calculate stimulus specific heart rate acceleration and deceleration.

Figure 4: The IBI Sequence Analyzer, showing IBIs -5 to 5 surrounding an event (red triangle).

HRV Analyzer

The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Analyzer retrieves corrected IBI data from a linked ECG module, detrends it, and performs epoch-based analyses to extract several time-domain, frequency-domain and non-linear HRV measures.

Figure 5: The HRV module's GUI. The top graph shows the epochs (green, blue and red rectangles), and the graph below that shows the IBI events (blue circles), the contiguous IBIs (blue line) and the global trend baseline (red line). The bottom left panel shows the name of the current epoch in the dropdown menu, and under it various metrics for that epoch. The bottom right panel shows collapsible graphs that visualize the: detrended IBIs; IBI successive differences; Poincaré plot; and Lomb-Scargle periodogram (for power analysis).

ICG Ensemble Analyzer

The ICG Ensemble Analyzer module generates one ICG and one ECG ensemble waveform per epoch, and allows the user to score the necessary ICG landmarks.

Figure 6: The ICG Ensemble Analyzer (Manual Scoring) GUI, showing: the ICG signal and the R-peak times (top graph, labeled dZ/dt); the current epoch data (leftmost table); the ensemble ECG and ICG curves, as well as the individual waveforms (two center graphs); and, the individual waveform data (rightmost table).

Blood Pressure Analyzer

Standard statistics regarding the systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures can be extracted using the Blood Pressure Analyzer module.

Figure 7: The BP Analyzer GUI, showing the BP signals and the estimated pulse. Note the automatically detected calibration event around 1865 seconds.

Respiration Analyzer

The Respiration Analyzer lets the user preprocess and analyze a chest or abdomen expansion signal, generated by a force-transducer. The module calculates basic descriptive statistics for inhalation, exhalation, and breath phases, per epoch.

Figure 8: The Respiration Module GUI, showing the respiration signal, the durations of the breath, inhalation, and exhalation, and the breath amplitude.

EMG Analyzer

Filtered, rectified and smoothed EMG signals can be extracted from the raw EMG using the EMG Analyzer module, which outputs descriptive statistical analysis of all these derived signals.

Figure 9: The EMG Signal Analyzer interface, showing the raw, filtered, rectified, and smoothed EMG signals.

Skin Conductance Analyzer

The Skin Conductance Analyzer module extracts metrics about the skin conductance level (SCL), phasic activity, and Skin Conductance Responses (SCRs) per epoch.

Figure 10: The Skin Conductance Analyzer GUI, showing the SCL (in axis labeled Skin Conductance) and the phasic channel (in the axis labeled Phasic SC).

Pupil Diameter Analyzer

The Pupil Diameter Analyzer module features user-specifiable raw data filters and signal interpolation options, and exports a variety of pupil-size metrics.

Figure 11: The Pupil Diameter Analyzer GUI, showing the left, right, and mean pupil diameter.

Area of Interest Hit Analyzer

With the Area of Interest Hit Analyzer, gaze data in the shape of area of interest hit data can be analyzed and metrics such as the total hit duration on an area of interest per epoch, can be obtained.

Area of Interest Hit Analyzer
Figure 12: The Area of Interest Hit GUI, showing the hit data per AOI. In the current file there were four AOIs.

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