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Electrophysiological Laboratory (EEG/ERP)

Electrophysiological neural research uses electrical sensors placed on a participant’s scalp to detect the electrical potentials that are a direct consequence of underlying neuronal activity (termed electroencephalographic data or EEG). Two common electrophysiological methods are event-related potential (ERP) methods, and spectral power analyses. ERP methods detect the neuronal activity associated with processing a particular event (e.g., viewing a target image). Spectral power analyses measure changes in the amplitude and frequency of the electrical potentials. Both methods can be used to measure activation patterns across conditions and populations as an index of neural activity associated with different cognitive tasks and they are well-suited for use with children, because they are noninvasive, not noisy (as is MRI), and can require no overt response on the part of the child.