Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 15–25 | Cite as

Component-Specific Self-Regulation of Slow Cortical Potentials and its Effect on Behavior: An Exploratory Study



In the present study, the possibility of component-specific self-regulation of the contingent negative variation (CNV) and the functional significance of the iCNV (initial or early CNV component) and tCNV (terminal or late CNV component) were investigated in twenty-four healthy volunteers. The subjects were able to achieve control over a particular CNV component within four sessions. Regulation of the tCNV was more successful than for the iCNV. Specific control over iCNV was associated with strategies mainly related to the pre-stimulus interval or the warning stimulus (S1), while regulation of the tCNV was assigned to activities during the whole interstimulus interval or around the imperative stimulus (S2). It can be concluded that component-specific regulation of the CNV can be used in studies of the psychophysiological meaning of this potential, representing different stages of information processing. The role of cortical pre-activation in the generation of the iCNV and the phasic performance-directed activation of the tCNV can be hypothesized.


Contingent negative variation Self-regulation Early component Late component 



We are indebted to O. Yakovlev for his help in data collection and analysis.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Hospital of Paediatric NeurologyChristian-Albrechts-University of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medical PsychologyChristian-Albrechts-University of KielKielGermany

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