Two experiments, an "active" and a "passive" oddball-paradigm (1. phase) with visual and auditive stimuli were performed. In both, two stimuli with a probability of 0.7/0.3 were presented. The oddball-sequence was replaced in the 2. phase without knowledge of the subjects by a sequence, in which only targets were presented. One group of the subjects has got an active task (counting the rare stimulus), the other group was told to view the stimuli passively. The rare stimulus in the oddball-sequence evoked a larger parietal P3, the auditive stimulation additionally a larger fronto-central N1 and the visual stimulation a larger central P2. The non-expected change into the 2. phase resulted in a reverse of the ERP-lateralization between 150-300 ms: Before the change of the probability the amplitudes were more negative left than right, thereafter more negative right than left. All components and effects in the active task maintained without task, but they decreased. The differences were larger with the visual stimuli. These results suggest, that the passive paradigm could be applied to patients with motoric deficits. From a theoretical point of view these results lead to certain difficulties in the interpretation of the functional importance of the P3. It can be explained better by the context-closure theory (Desmedt, 1980; Verleger, 1988) than by the context-updating theory (Donchin, 1981).
|Translated title of the contribution||What are you doing when you are doing nothing? ERP components without a cognitive task|
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Zeitschrift für experimentelle Psychologie : Organ der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|