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Knowledge of stimulus timing attenuates human evoked cortical potentials.


To determine whether or not knowledge of stimulus timing influences the amplitude and latency of evoked cortical potentials, we have studied the evoked potentials of 24 adults under two contrasting conditions in which people knew or did not know the timing of tone stimuli by means of numerical perceptual cuing. Results demonstrated markedly smaller amplitude and significantly faster latency for the late components of vertex potentials evoked by stimuli whose timing subjects knew in advance. The cognitive act of knowing when auditory stimuli will occur attenuates the amplitude and facilitates the poststimulus timing of cortical evoked potentials.

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