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A biosignal is any signal in living beings that can be continually measured and monitored. The term biosignal is often used to refer to bioelectrical signals, but it may refer to both electrical and non-electrical signals.

Electrical biosignals, or bioelectrical signals, usually refers to the change in electric current produced by the sum of an electrical potential difference across a specialized tissue, organ or cell system like the nervous system. Thus, among the best-known bioelectrical signals are:

EEG, ECG, EOG and EMG are measured with a differential amplifier which registers the difference between two electrodes attached to the skin. However, the galvanic skin response measures electrical resistance and the MEG measures the magnetic field induced by electrical currents (electroencephalogram) of the brain.

Electrical currents and changes in electrical resistances across tissues can also be measured from plants.

Biosignals may also refer to any non-electrical signal that is capable of being monitored from biological beings, such as mechanical signals (e.g. the mechanomyogram or MMG), acoustic signals (e.g. phonetic and non-phonetic utterances, breathing), chemical signals (e.g. pH, oxygenation) and optical signals (e.g. movements).



Use in Artistic Contexts[edit]

In recent years, the use of biosignals has gained interest amongst an international artistic community of performers and composers who use biosignals to produce and control sound. Research and practice in the field go back decades in various forms (Brouse 2012; Ortiz 2012) and have lately been enjoying a resurgence, thanks to the increasing availability of more affordable and less cumbersome technologies (Lopes and chippewa 2012). An entire issue of eContact!, published by the Canadian Electroacoustic Community in July 2012, was dedicated to this subject, with contributions from the key figures in the domain.[1]

See also[edit]