Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2002

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Stanley S. Reisman

Second Advisor

Michael T. Bergen

Third Advisor

Tara L. Alvarez

Fourth Advisor

Richard J. Servatius


The classically conditioned eyeblink response is studied by various groups to study neurological functions. This is a form of associative leaming that has many features to help diagnose and learn about neurological diseases. Electromyogram traditionally is used to detect eyeblinks for this experimentation in human. However, EMG can be expensive and difficult to use. It involves the utilization of electrodes and produces only an indirect measure of eyelid closure. The goal of the project was to develop an infrared device to detect eyeblinks and replace the EMG. The project involved two major components, a hardware and a software component. The hardware segment included emitters and detectors to collect the signal and electronics for signal conditioning. The software stored, displayed and processed the data. The aim of this study was to have an inexpensive and facile way of detecting eyeblinks

To prove the reliability and validity of the signal, a small pilot study was conducted where both EMG and infrared were monitored continuously. The signal from the infrared was compared to the EMG signal in terms of reliability, validity and quality of the signal. The pilot study indicated that the infrared signal quality is better than the EMG. The pilot study also proved the infrared signal to be valid and reliable. The system's main goal was to replace EMG system with instrumentation that was less expensive but still reliable.



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