Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 317–325 | Cite as

Order patterns recurrence plots in the analysis of ERP data

  • Stefan Schinkel
  • Norbert Marwan
  • Jürgen Kurths
Research Article


Recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) is an established tool for data analysis in various behavioural sciences. In this article we present a refined notion of RQA based on order patterns. The use of order patterns is commonplace in time series analysis. Exploiting this concept in combination with recurrence plots (RP) and their quantification (RQA) allows for advances in contemporary EEG research, specifically in the analysis of event related potentials (ERP), as the method is known to be robust against non-stationary data. The use of order patterns recurrence plots (OPRPs) on EEG data recorded during a language processing experiment exemplifies the potentials of the method. We could show that the application of RQA to ERP data allows for a considerable reduction of the number of trials required in ERP research while still maintaining statistical validity.


ERP Recurrence quantification Order patterns N400 



We are grateful to Carsten Allefeld and Stefan Frisch for providing the EEG data of the language processing experiment. This work was in part supported by grants of the International Graduate School Computational Neuroscience of Behavioural and Cognitive Dynamics, the BioSim Network of Excellence and the SFB 555 Komplexe nichtlineare Systeme. The software used for this article is available for download at


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Schinkel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Norbert Marwan
    • 2
  • Jürgen Kurths
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Nonlinear Dynamics GroupUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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