Automatic Detection of Acute Mental Stress With Camera-based Photoplethysmography

Research output: Contribution to book/conference proceedings/anthology/reportConference contributionContributedpeer-review


Autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity reflects in vital signs that can be measured by means of camera-based photoplethysmography (cbPPG). This work investigates the automatic detection of acute mental stress with cbPPG.

Data from the Dresden Multimodal Biosignal Dataset for the Mannheim Multicomponent Stress Test (DMBD-MMST) covering > 40 h uncompressed facial RGB videos of 56 healthy participants were used for rest vs. stress classification on the basis of nine cbPPG vital signs with decision tree ensembles. Also, the impact of normalization, measurement duration, and color channel combination was investigated.

Best performance for rest (baseline and recovery) vs. stress classification (F1=0.81, Cohen's Kappa κ=0.61) was achieved with normalization, 30 s measurement duration, and vital signs from the green channel and the color channel combination called O3C. Without recovery (baseline vs. stress), this configuration achieved F1=0.97 and κ=0.94. Paired t-tests revealed significant changes from rest (baseline and recovery) to stress in eight of the nine vital signs and the maximum effect size amounted to d=0.73, indicating sympathetic excitation.

Findings from this work are central to the non-contact evaluation of ANS activity. Our results demonstrate that automatic detection of acute mental stress with cbPPG is feasible.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputing in Cardiology Conference (CinC)
Number of pages4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


Title50th Computing in Cardiology conference
Abbreviated titleCinC 2023
Conference number50
Duration1 - 4 October 2023
Degree of recognitionInternational event
LocationEmory University
CountryUnited States of America

External IDs

Scopus 85182309956


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis

Sustainable Development Goals


  • camera-based photoplethysmography, iPPG, Mental stress, stress assessment, stress detection, non-contact measurement