The reliability of visual ERP components in children across the first year of school

Michelle K. Jetha, Sidney J. Segalowitz, Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp

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2 Scopus citations


Event-related potentials (ERPs) are increasingly used as neurophysiological markers of perceptual and cognitive processes conveying risk for psychopathology. However, little is known about the reliability of ERP components during childhood, a time of substantial brain maturation. In the present study, we examine the early visual ERP components (P1, N170, VPP), frequently examined as indicators of attentional bias, for 110 children at kindergarten (T1) and first grade (T2). Children performed a Go/Nogo task at both time points, with exact stimuli changed to reduce habituation. All components showed increases in absolute amplitude and the P1 and VPP also showed decreases in latency. Retest reliability across time was good to very good for amplitude measures (Pearson rs ranging from.54 for N170 to.69 for P1) and low to very good for latencies (rs from.34 for P1 to.60 for N170), despite the change in visual stimuli. Although there was some evidence of moderation by sex, early visual ERP components appear to be a reliable measure of individual differences in attention processing in middle childhood. This has implications for the use of early visual ERP components as trait-like markers for individual differences in perceptual processes in developmental research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22150
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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