This research was supported in part by a U.S.P.H.S. grant from the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, NS 11199. We are indebted to Dr. Richard Coppola for providing laboratory computer software and Mr. Howard Canoune for editorial assistance.
Toward a Functional Categorization of Slow Waves
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 339–353, May 1988
How to Cite
Ruchkin, D. S., Johnson, R., Mahaffey, D. and Sutton, S. (1988), Toward a Functional Categorization of Slow Waves. Psychophysiology, 25: 339–353. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1988.tb01253.x
Dr. Sutton died on March 30. 1986. prior to the writing of this report. We believe that he would have approved of its contents. Any shortcomings must be attributed to the remaining authors.
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Manuscript received August 5, 1987; accepted for publication January 4, 1988)
- Event-related potentials;
- Slow Wave;
- Mental arithmetic;
- Pattern recognition;
- Information processing
This study is concerned with slowly varying, long-duration brain event-related potential (ERP) components, referred to as Slow Wave activity. Slow Wave activity can be observed in the epoch following P3b, suggesting that it reflects further processing invoked by increased task demands, beyond the processing that underlies P3b. The present experiment was designed to distinguish Slow Wave activity related to specific types of task demands which arise during difficult perceptual (pattern recognition) and conceptual (arithmetic) mental operations.
Three late ERP components that respond differentially in amplitude to manipulation of perceptual and conceptual difficulty were identified: 1) A P3b, with a topography focused about Pz, evidently related to the subjective categorization of easy and difficult conceptual operations, that increased when the subjective low-probability operation was performed; 2) A longer latency, centroparietal positive Slow Wave that increased directly with perceptual difficulty but was not affected by conceptual difficulty; 3) A very long latency negative Slow Wave, broadly distributed over centroposterior scalp, that increased directly with conceptual difficulty while its onset was delayed when perceptual difficulty increased.