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J Vis Exp. 2014 Nov 19;(93):e52082. doi: 10.3791/52082.

Investigating the effects of antipsychotics and schizotypy on the N400 using event-related potentials and semantic categorization.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, McGill University.
2
Department of Cognitive Science, McGill University.
3
Douglas Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Neurology and Neurosurgery Department, McGill University; j.bruno.debruille@gmail.com.

Abstract

Within the field of cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a popular method of visualizing brain function. This is in part because of its excellent spatial resolution, which allows researchers to identify brain areas associated with specific cognitive processes. However, in the quest to localize brain functions, it is relevant to note that many cognitive, sensory, and motor processes have temporal distinctions that are imperative to capture, an aspect that is left unfulfilled by fMRI's suboptimal temporal resolution. To better understand cognitive processes, it is thus advantageous to utilize event-related potential (ERP) recording as a method of gathering information about the brain. Some of its advantages include its fantastic temporal resolution, which gives researchers the ability to follow the activity of the brain down to the millisecond. It also directly indexes both excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials by which most brain computations are performed. This sits in contrast to fMRI, which captures an index of metabolic activity. Further, the non-invasive ERP method does not require a contrast condition: raw ERPs can be examined for just one experimental condition, a distinction from fMRI where control conditions must be subtracted from the experimental condition, leading to uncertainty in associating observations with experimental or contrast conditions. While it is limited by its poor spatial and subcortical activity resolution, ERP recordings' utility, relative cost-effectiveness, and associated advantages offer strong rationale for its use in cognitive neuroscience to track rapid temporal changes in neural activity. In an effort to foster increase in its use as a research imaging method, and to ensure proper and accurate data collection, the present article will outline - in the framework of a paradigm using semantic categorization to examine the effects of antipsychotics and schizotypy on the N400 - the procedure and key aspects associated with ERP data acquisition.

PMID:
25490044
PMCID:
PMC4354174
DOI:
10.3791/52082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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