Issues in biometrics: offset potentials and the electrical stability of Ag/AgCl electrodes. Academic Article uri icon


  • There has been a continuing interest in many areas of psychophysiological research in the quantification of slow wave bioelectric potentials recorded from the surface of the skin. However, surprisingly little research has focused specifically on methods for stabilizing and minimizing the offset potentials of the sintermetallic Ag/AgCl surface electrodes commonly used in such noninvasive bioelectric measurement. To provide empirically based recommendations in this regard, we contrasted the effects of three common storage methods (air dry vs. saline vs. carbon rod) on the two distinct types of Ag/AgCl surface electrodes (sintermetallic vs. electrolytic) under simulated experimental conditions. The obtained results confirm that minimum offset potentials and maximum stability for electrolytic Ag/AgCl electrodes are obtained when they are stored in a 0.9% NaCl solution with their leads shorted together and connected in parallel to a carbon rod partially immersed in the solution (cf. Cooper, 1956). In addition, the pattern of results suggested that the inter-session unshorted storage of sintermetallic electrodes in a mild saline solution is to be recommended over either shorted saline storage in parallel with a carbon rod or unshorted dry storage.

published proceedings

  • Psychophysiology

author list (cited authors)

  • Tassinary, L. G., Geen, T. R., Cacioppo, J. T., & Edelberg, R.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Tassinary, LG||Geen, TR||Cacioppo, JT||Edelberg, R

publication date

  • March 1990