Age-changes in scalp distribution of cognitive event-related potentials elicited in an Oddball task

W. Wijker, P. C.M. Molenaar, M. W. Van der Molen

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13 Scopus citations


This study aimed to assess age-related changes in the scalp distribution of visual Event-Related Potentials (ERP). Volunteers performed an Oddball task, in which they made a button press response to the infrequent stimulus (20%) and refrained from responding to the frequent stimulus (80%). The volunteers were 24 females aged 8-10, 14-15 and 18-19 years. During task performance the EEG was measured at 14 locations according to the international 10-20 system. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed that three components explained 84% of the variance; a P350, P550 and N800 component. In accordance with previous studies, there were no dramatic differences between age groups in the morphology of the ERP components. All three components, however, did show age-related changes in scalp distribution, especially at frontal and occipital scalp sites. The topographic differences were smallest at the 'standard' electrode positions (Fz, Cz, Pz and Oz). Besides those differences, topographic maps of ERPs also showed differences between groups. Further research is required to understand the meaning of the topographic differences, either as an anatomical development, a mental development, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology


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