The reliability of ERP components in the auditory oddball paradigm

Authors

  • SIDNEY J. SEGALOWITZ,

    1. Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    • Address reprint requests to: S. J. Segalowitz, Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada.

  • KERRY L. BARNES

    1. Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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  • This research was completed while the first author held grants from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and from the U.S. Department of Education NIDRR.

  • We thank the principal, Mr. Ken Lee, and the students and staff of St. Catharines Collegiate for their help and cooperation in completing this study, Sheri Berenbaum, Jane Dywan, Bob Nadon, Ayse Unsal, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, and Tim Murphy and Sheila Lawson for data analysis. Kerry Barnes is now at the Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick.

Abstract

Nineteen adolescents (average age 15 years, 3 months) were tested and retested using a standard 40 target, auditory oddball ERP paradigm across an interval of 1 year, 10 months to determine reliability of the ERP components, both in terms of intersubject stability and score agreement and in terms of trait (between-session reliability) versus state (within-session reliability). Significant trait stability was found for the N100, P200, and P300 latencies (r= .48, .51, and .74, respectively), and for P300 amplitude (r= .62), supporting the P300 as a reliable measure, with the stability required for group research but not necessarily for clinical applications. Discussion and examples illustrate the application of reliability information to the planning and evaluation of ERP paradigms.

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