Glossary

electroencephalography (EEG) The noninvasive measurement of electrophysiological activity of the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp surface.

endogenous response An event-related response associated with voluntary movement, decision-making, or cognitive or other neural activity associated with internal processes of the experimental subject.

event-related potential (ERP) A spatiotemporal pattern in EEG data associated with a discernible event such as delivery of a stimulus or voluntary motion. The MEG analogs of these responses are sometimes called event-related fields.

event-related synchronization-event-related desynchroniza-tion (ERS-ERD) Neural population responses apparent as a resetting or reorganization of ongoing oscillatory activity.

evoked response An event-related response associated with sensory information processing of an external stimulus.

forward problem Computation of the physical consequences (e.g., an observable magnetic field or potential distribution at the head surface) associated with an assumed pattern of neural activation and a model of the properties of the head.

inverse problem Estimation of patterns of neural activation that can account for an observed pattern of experimental measures.

latency The timing of a response component or other feature relative to a defining event. Originally used to denote the period before any response was apparent (i.e., the latent phase of the response), in present usage often used to identify the peak of a response component.

magnetoencephalography (MEG) The magnetic analog of EEG, measuring magnetic fields associated with neural currents using ultrasensitive superconducting instrumentation.

response components Reproducible features in an event-related response. Typically identified on the basis of peaks and valleys in the response waveform in early work, components may be discriminated on the basis of response field topographies, consequences of stimulus properties, effects of behavioral modulations, or other criteria.

source localization Identification of the regions of neural activation that give rise to externally observable electromagnetic responses or other evidence of neural activation.

Event-related responses are spatial-temporal patterns of physiological responses associated with neural population activity, elicited by external stimuli or internal imperatives. Because these signals typically are much smaller than the ongoing activity, signal averaging, correlation, or related signal processing strategies are employed to recover the response.

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