Prestimulus EEG amplitude determinants of ERP responses in a habituation paradigm
Evidence for the nature and extent of the prestimulus EEG contributions to ERP determination has been mounting, and we have recently mapped these within an equiprobable auditory Go/NoGo task. Here we examined if the pattern of relationships in the Go/NoGo would generalise to an auditory habituation paradigm. Count and No-task conditions were assessed, and we predicted broadly corresponding effects between Go and Count, and NoGo and No-task conditions. Single-trial data were obtained at the midline sites (Fz, Cz, Pz). Prestimulus EEG in each of the traditional bands was quantified using a sliding FFT window, and five ERP components were manually identified. The corresponding EEG and ERP data were then correlated across subjects, sites, and trials, separately for each ERP component measure (amplitude, latency), task condition (Count, No-task), and EEG band (delta, theta, alpha, beta). Despite the substantial paradigm and methodological differences, 10 of the 17 expected prestimulus EEG-ERP directional relationships (i.e., direct or inverse effects) were confirmed across the traditional bands and ERP components, and only one was in the opposite direction. Importantly, 18 additional relationships reached significance here; these occurred across the EEG bands, and ERP components. Together these findings confirm the significant contributions of prestimulus EEG to subsequent ERP responses. These appear to be at least partially independent of the paradigm and EEG methodology employed, suggesting that there is merit in mapping these contributions further. Our findings also indicate the improved sensitivity of the statistical approach used here in detecting such EEG-ERP relationships.