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Electrophysiological Correlates of Change Detection during Delayed Matching Task: A Comparison of Different References

Electrophysiological Correlates of Change Detection during Delayed Matching Task: A Comparison of Different References

Authors: 
Tengfei Liang, Zhonghua Hu, Yuchen Li, Chaoxiong Ye and Qiang Liu
Year: 
2017
Journal: 
Frontiers in Neural Science
Abstract: 

Detecting the changed information between memory representation and incoming sensory inputs is a fundamental cognitive ability. By offering the promise of excellent temporal resolution, event-related potential (ERP) technique has served as a primary tool for studying this process with reference of the linked mastoid (LM). However, given that LM may distort the ERP signals, it is still undetermined whether LM is the best reference choice. The goal of the current study was to systematically compare LM, reference electrode standardization technique (REST) and average reference (AR) for assessing the ERP correlates of change detection during a delayed matching task. Colored shapes were adopted as materials while both the task-relevant shape feature and -irrelevant color feature could be changed. The results of the ERP amplitude showed that both of the task-relevant and -conjunction feature changes elicited significantly more positive posterior P2 in REST and AR, but not in LM. Besides, significantly increased N270 was observed in task-relevant and -conjunction feature changes in both the REST and LM, but in the conjunction feature change in AR. Only the REST-obtained N270 revealed a significant increment in task-irrelevant feature change, which was compatible with the delayed behavioral performance. Statistical parametric scalp mapping (SPSM) results showed a left posterior distribution for AR, an anterior distribution for LM, and both the anterior and left posterior distributions for REST. These results indicate that different types of references may provide distinct cognitive interpretations. Interestingly, only the SPSM of REST was consistent with previous fMRI findings. Combined with the evidence of simulation studies and the current observations, we take the REST-based results as the objective one, and recommend using REST technology in the future ERP data analysis.

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