The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the alteration in hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis function results in electrodermal abnormality without causing marked psychiatric manifestations or not. Electrodermal activity was recorded with the skin conductance unit and IBM-AT computer. Basal levels of electrodermal activity (EDA), as well as responsivity to repeated insignificant acoustic stimulation were studied in 24 nonmedicated hyperthyroid patients and 35 healthy controls. The outcome of psychiatric raring scores indicated that patients had low anxiety scores and normal depression scores. The basal levels of thyroid hormones were higher in patients, when compared with the control group. On the analysis of EDA, we found lower onset latency and duration of the skin conductance response and higher skin conductance level in nonmedicated patients than healthy controls. The results above provide supporting evidence that the change of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis function results in abnormal EDA, without causing marked psychiatric manifestations. (C) 1997 Society of Biological Psychiatry.