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How robustly do multivariate EEG patterns track individual-subject lexico-semantic processing of visual stimuli?
PETIT, S., WOOLGAR, A., BROWN, A., Jessen, E.T.,
Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Year of publication:
In Press
CBU number:
Electroencephalography may be a valuable tool for assessing lexico-semantic processing in conditions where behavioural measures are unreliable. Detecting and quantifying effects in individuals is crucial for clinical applications, but individual-subject analyses are frequently not reported, and are hampered by low signal-to-noise. Multivariate analyses (MVPA) may be more sensitive than traditional approaches, so we asked how robustly they could detect differential neural responses to semantically matched and mismatched word/picture pairs in individuals. With clinical application in mind, we compared data from a research-grade EEG system to concurrently recorded data from the wireless Emotiv EPOC+. In both EEG systems, despite robust group-level effects, we only detected statistically significant processing of lexico-semantic condition in 50% of individuals. Surprisingly, detection rates were similar for MVPA and univariate analyses. MVPA may be advantageous when individual responses are heterogeneous, but in this simple paradigm, lexico-semantic processing could not be reliably detected at the individual level.
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