The Vrije Universiteit – Data Analysis and Management (VU-DAMS) program is the companion application to the VU-AMS 5fs device. It is used to manage your VU-AMS 5fs device, and set-up, start, and stop measurements. It also provides the opportunity to look at live data. Once your high-quality data has been recorded, VU-DAMS helps you make sense of it all. It is a powerful analysis solution with a graphical user interface and an intuitive workflow to help you label, clean, and score your data. A final results table with physiological values for your intervals of interest can be easily exported to an ASCII or Excel file to use in statistical software such as SPSS or R. Additionally, all raw signals can be exported and processed to ASCII or EDF files, should you be inclined to dig deep into your data with packages in Matlab or Python.
VU-DAMS is updated frequently to aid user friendliness, update algorithms to the latest standards, and provide new physiological variables matching the latest scientific insights.
The flow of data processing as represented in the VU-DAMS program
The VU-DAMS program consists of several tabs that will lead you through the data processing. Here you find an overview of all tabs. You can also download the complete VU-DAMS program manual here and view a list of all tutorials here.
In this tab, you can perform a quick visual inspection of all raw signals that have been collected. On the right side, you can select which signals you would like to be displayed.
This tab can be used for dividing continuous data into labelled parts. You can label your data manually as well as automatically by means of a label file. An example of a useful application of labelling your data is the built-in option to calculate averages of physiological measures per label for statical comparison.
In the VU-DAMS program, raw ECG-signals are scored automatically with our scoring algorithm. Artefacts in the ECG signals are removed automatically, whereas smaller deviations in the data are flagged to be inspected visually. The inter-beat interval (IBI) is calculated as the time between two consecutive R-peaks.
The Respiration tab can be used for visual inspection of several signals related to respiration. The thorax impedance is often used in physiological research, and can be used as an indicator for respiration rate. Furthermore, in combination with ECG, several indicators of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity can be derived such as the Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA). This tab allows you to visually check these measures, and double-check if all artifacts have been removed by our artifact-detection algorithm.
By combining signals of the thorax impedance and ECG, Impedance Cardiography (ICG) can be used for measuring several parameters that relate to ANS-activity. Examples include Stroke Volume (SV), Left Ventricular Ejection Time (LVET) and Pre-Ejection Period (PEP). The ICG-signals are ensemble-averaged per label, and therefore this tab allows for easy comparison of physiological measures of ANS-activity between labels. The ICG-averages are scored automatically, but in this tab manual correction is also possible.
This tab highlights the Electrodermal Activity (EDA) signals, also known as skin conductance. EDA has been used frequently in psychophysiological research as a measure for sympathetic activity, for instance by means of the level of EDA or the non-specific responses in skin conductance. This tab allows for visual inspection and data cleaning of EDA signals.
The results tab provides a summary of all collected measures per label, in combination with important information such as participant ID, time and label code.