Document Type

Journal Article


Universidad de Almeria


School of Arts and Humanities




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Vahey, R., Becerra, R. (2015). Galvanic skin response in mood disorders: A critical review in International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 15(2), 275-304. Available here.


To critically review the literature on Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) within Mood Disorder populations. GSR profiles were examined for the various types of Mood Disorder and their association with comorbidity, suicidality and predispositions. This review examined studies with emotional and non-emotional stimuli whilst aiming to identify a Mood Disorder GSR profile by comparisons with healthy controls and other psychological or physical disorders. A systematic search for relevant literature was conducted using PsychINFO, CINAHL and MEDLINE databases. Studies using emotional stimuli to measure GSR in mood disorder patients were included. Some studies did not use emotional stimuli, however were included as GSR measures were conducted separately from stimuli presentation. A greater proportion of studies reported results in support of a specific GSR profile for mood disorders as well as indicating GSR variation depending on type of disorder. Distinguishing the GSR profile from other psychological or physical disorders was more challenging, as it is less clear if pathology causes differences in GSR when issues such as comorbidity are present. Bilateral GSR differences, GSR differences between the left and right hand, were also reported in a number of studies. Results indicated mood disorder patients have low or flat GSR profiles, consistent with review expectations. Bilateral analysis also indicated a common left-hand bias among mood disorder patients.

Access Rights