Title: Real-time Physiological Biomarkers of Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Acute Stressors
Dr. Inan, Advisor
Dr. Wang, Chair
The objective of the proposed research is to identify and develop non-invasive sensing technologies for non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation devices in the context of acute emotional and mental stressors. Identification of the measures that can predict whether the stimulation is delivered to the vagus nerve is imperative for at-home usage of such technologies. First, the cardiovascular and peripheral biomarkers of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, all of which could be obtained with wearable sensing technologies, are introduced. Second, using these measures, the effects of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation in the presence of acute stressors are introduced. As part of the proposed works, features from both human subjects with prior psychological trauma and patients with posttraumatic stress disorder will be analyzed using machine learning methods. The most salient parameters in terms of the quantification of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation will be identified. Lastly, biosignals from traumatic event recollections will be analyzed to attempt to predict the patient's disease status (PTSD or non-PTSD), for which the state-of-the-art diagnosis methods rely on clinically-administered structured interviews.