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Picton et al., in an excellent review, note that since the MMN is generated regardless of attention to stimuli, it likely represents an automatic novelty-sensing process .
Additionally, a posterior negativity has been observed in response to alteration of visual stimuli, and has been proposed to be a visual counterpart to the auditory MMN, dubbed v MMN and appearing approximately 120-200 msec post-stimulus .
Through various experimental paradigms, topographic mapping of averaged signals (Figure 2), and electrical source analysis, it has been possible to assemble a sizable knowledge-base regarding these ERPs.
Due to its high temporal resolution, EEG imaging of relative scalp electrical positivities and negativities may expose subtle cognitive activity.
A comparison of the effects of different auditory stimulus deviation types on the MMN component has been determined through a number of investigations utilizing the auditory oddball paradigm.
In one such study examining frequency and intensity deviation, changes in inter-stimulus interval (ISI) and intensity in auditory oddball detection tasks evoked two different MMNs based on whether the deviant stimulus was defined by frequency or by intensity. P300 amplitude is determined by target-to-target interval.
Indeed, shortly after the advent of electrophysiological recording in the late 1920s, physiologists readily observed discrepancies in the brainwave records of normal subjects compared to those with documented illness .
Developments in both EEG acquisition technology and data processing capability have allowed for the identification and characterization of specific deflections comprising the activity associated with a given experimental stimulus or response.
With the rapid proliferation of high-density EEG methods, and interdisciplinary interest in its application as a prognostic, diagnostic, and investigative tool, an understanding of the underpinnings of P300 and N200 physiology may support its application to both the basic neuroscience and clinical medical settings.