Visual Evoked Potential Topography: Physiological and Cognitive Components

  • W. Skrandies
Conference paper


Electrical brain activity as recorded from the intact scalp of man constitutes an electrical field whose configuration varies over time. Intracranial neuronal generator populations produce potential changes which are recorded by conventional EEG machines as voltages. Such potential difference waveforms reflect the difference in electrical potential or the potential gradient along a line between the locations of two scalp electrodes which are connected to an amplifier channel. Potential waveforms are ambiguous, since their shape and configuration depend both on the electrode locations and the choice of the reference electrode. When only nine scalp electrodes are used for recording, 72 different waveshapes may be obtained. We also note that none of the electrode locations could serve better than the others as reference electrode since no inactive point is available (see Nunez 1981), and any of the nine electrodes may be selected to serve as recording reference. Thus, from nine recording electrodes are obtained nine different sets consisting of eight potential waveshapes each — all of which look different (for illustration of such a data set refer to Skrandies 1987, Fig. 4). It is impossible to evaluate such extensive data sets which contain redundant information by simple inspection or by waveshape comparisons, and thus, the analysis of electrical activity must not deal with reference-dependent potential waveshapes (Lehmann and Skrandies 1984; Skrandies 1986, 1987).


Spatial Frequency Presentation Mode Contingent Negative Variation Global Field Power Scalp Topography 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Skrandies
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Physiologische und Klinische ForschungBad NauheimFederal Republic of Germany

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