Does Embrace confuse stimming with epileptic events?


Stimming (used to describe repetitive movements, typically in autism) and epileptic events can have both similar or very different motion and autonomic signatures, and therefore may be perceived as epileptic events by Embrace.

The signatures can vary a lot from person to person. In some of the examples published in our work in Epilepsia (Poh et al. 2012), stimming did cause false alarms for some people. Thus, stimming can sometimes be confused with epileptic events.  Stimming can sometimes cause arousal to increase; this increase, plus the repetitive motion, makes a false alarm more likely.

Individuals can have different responses to stimming.  For many people, stimming is calming and causes arousal to decrease. Embrace can help you see if a particular kind of stimming is associated with calming (for example, for some people, rocking back and forth can make the electrodermal activity drop like a slide on a playground). Some people engage in repetitive movements both to calm (when stressed) and to arouse (when over-tired or inattentive). For example, a person might bounce his leg up and down to help keep his brain feeling alert and focused.  Each person may have very different patterns of behavior that help them to adjust their arousal levels.  Thus, accuracy rates and false-alarms can be very individual.  


Have more questions?