Stress is a notoriously slippery concept and experience: something many of us talk a lot about, and have a strong physical sense of, but which is difficult to grasp scientifically or medically. Human stress responses are complex and can be traced in multiple physical processes and changes, as well as in mental and emotional life. Attempts to biosense the physical signs of stress are inevitably bound up with these complexities, and reflect the multiple uncertainties of contemporary science and clinical medicine on this issue. Despite this, devices to monitor stress are increasingly available and are being taken up in various contexts, including workplaces such as the military and financial trading. In this chapter we explore how biosensing platforms articulate ‘stress’ and suggest how these devices and platforms might be used to further a bio-psycho-social understanding of human and non-human life.
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