An open-source, wireless vest for measuring autonomic function in infants

Charles Maitha, Jesse C. Goode, Danielle P. Maulucci, Suha M. S. Lasassmeh, Chen Yu, Linda B. Smith, Jeremy I. Borjon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Infant behavior, like all behavior, is the aggregate product of many nested processes operating and interacting over multiple time scales; the result of a tangle of inter-related causes and effects. Efforts in identifying the mechanisms supporting infant behavior require the development and advancement of new technologies that can accurately and densely capture behavior's multiple branches. The present study describes an open-source, wireless autonomic vest specifically designed for use in infants 8-24 months of age in order to measure cardiac activity, respiration, and movement. The schematics of the vest, instructions for its construction, and a suite of software designed for its use are made freely available. While the use of such autonomic measures has many applications across the field of developmental psychology, the present article will present evidence for the validity of the vest in three ways: (1) by demonstrating known clinical landmarks of a heartbeat, (2) by demonstrating an infant in a period of sustained attention, a well-documented behavior in the developmental psychology literature, and (3) relating changes in accelerometer output to infant behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2324–2337
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number6
Early online date24 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cardiorespiratory activity
  • Movement
  • Sustained attention

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