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An evaluation of methods for single-trial estimation of P3 latency

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2000

PIOTR JAŚKOWSKI
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, Medical University of Lübeck, Germany Department of Psychophysiology, Pedagogical University of Bydgoszcz, Poland
ROLF VERLEGER
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, Medical University of Lübeck, Germany
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Abstract

This study investigated the validity of procedures for estimating the P3 complex in single trials. In “pseudo-real” simulations of the N1-P2 complex of the occipital visual-evoked potential, Möcks, Köhler, Gasser, and Pham (1988) had reported that their maximum-likelihood method (Pham, Möcks, Köhler, & Gasser, 1987) performed better than Woody's (1967) method. Using pseudo-real simulations of auditory oddball data, we wanted to know whether this finding also held true for the P3 complex. The performance of three methods was studied: peak picking, Woody's method, and Pham et al.'s method (as well as an extension of this latter method). Performance of all methods critically depended on the signal-to-noise ratio. There was some advantage for the more sophisticated methods, particularly when signal-to-noise ratios were realistic. “Good” trials may be selected by all methods, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, but this selection entails the risk of bias. Further research should investigate whether these conclusions also hold true when the P3 complex consists of more than one component.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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