Slow brain potentials in a visual-spatial memory task: Topographic distribution and inter-laboratory consistency

John W. Rohrbaugh, Douglas N. Dunham, Paula A. Stewart, Lance O. Bauer, Samuel Kuperman, Sean J. O'Connor, Bernice Porjesz, Henri Begleiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Slow brain electrical potentials (SPs) were investigated in a visual-spatialmemory task. Two issues were addressed: (1) the nature and topographic distribution of the potentials obtained under such conditions; and (2) the consistency of the SPs when recorded in six identically configured laboratories. Fifteen young male subjects were studied at each laboratory (total n = 90). The paradigm entailed presentations of paired visual patterns (S1 and S2), to which subjects responded with a choice reaction time response indicating whether or not the two patterns matched. A biphasic contingent negative variation (CNV) was produced which consisted of an early symmetric component with bilateral foci at posterior temporal sites and a subsequent mid-parietal dominant wave later in the retention interval. Although the CNVs from all laboratories were similar in waveform and in topographic distribution, there were significant inter-laboratory differences in amplitude of the slow potential components. The topographic distributions of the components and the possible role of sampling effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997



  • Contingent negative variation
  • Inter-laboratory consistency
  • Slow potentials
  • Visual-spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this