Emotion & Exercise Physiology: Any Link?

Research Paper Title

Real-time Physiological Emotion Detection Mechanisms: Effects of Exercise and Affect Intensity.


The development of systems capable of recognising and categorising emotions is of interest to researchers in various scientific areas including artificial intelligence.

The traditional notion that emotions and rationality are two separate realms has gradually been challenged. The work of neurologists has shown the strong relationship between emotional episodes and the way humans think and act.

Furthermore, emotions not only regulate human decisions but could also contribute to a more satisfactory response to the environment, i.e. faster and more precise actions.

In this paper an analysis of physiological signals employed in real-time emotion detection is presented in the context of Intelligent Inhabited Environments (IIE).

Two studies were performed to investigate whether physical exertion has a significant effect on bodily signals stemming from emotional episodes with subjects having various degrees of affect intensity:

  1. A statistical analysis using the Wilcoxon Test, and
  2. A cluster analysis using the Davies- Bouldin Index.

Preliminary results demonstrated that the heart rate and skin resistance consistently showed similar changes regardless of the physical stimuli while blood volume pressure did not show a significant change. It was also found that neither physical stress nor affect intensity played a role in the separation of neutral and non-neutral emotional states.


Real-time Physiological Emotion Detection Mechanisms, Effects of Exercise & Affect Intensity (Leon et al., 2005)


Leon, E., Clarke, G. Sepulveda, F. & Callaghan, V. (2005) Real-time Physiological Emotion Detection Mechanisms: Effects of Exercise and Affect Intensity. In 27th Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Shanghai, pp. 4719-4722, September 1-4, 2005.


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