"Involuntary motor reflex" delay while sleepy
Ok, I do confess I got pat of the title from Mel Brook's movie "Young Frankenstein". That said, here is my question.
I'm trying to find an extremely non-invasive way to detect when a person is losing attentiveness, or getting sleepy. FYI, I'm an electrical engineer so I have little knowledge of the mind and body's behavior.
I propose alertness or sleepiness can be detected using an extremely mild electrical shock. One would apply a short pulse of current between two points on the skin (in close proximity) and measuring the time the brain takes to respond to the shock (via muscle contraction). The longer the time between muscle contraction and the shock, the less alert the subject is, and conversely. Would this work?
I've heard that the body will involuntarily respond to sudden stimuli (pain, etc...) before the brain has time to respond. Would the system I propose be largely independent of how the brain responds to the stimuli- given the body's involuntary reactions?