Higher, faster, stronger: the effect of dynamic stimuli on response preparation and CNV amplitude

Behav Brain Res. 2013 Jan 15;237:308-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.050. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


The contingent negative variation (CNV) is a slow negative shift in the electroencephalogram (EEG), observed during response preparation. To optimalize the CNV paradigm, this study developed a task using dynamic stimuli and next combined this task with a Go/No-go test. In the first experiment, 19 healthy volunteers were subjected to the classic Traffic light (TL) task and the new dynamic Lines task. In the Lines task, response time was faster and CNV amplitude was larger compared to the TL task. In the second experiment, 20 healthy participants were tested on a Go/No-go version of the Lines task. Response times increased as the probability of response requirement decreased. CNV amplitude was larger when probability of response requirement was higher. In conclusion, the dynamic task promotes response preparation. The new tasks may be especially valuable in groups with attention difficulties (i.e. elderly or ADHD patients).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Contingent Negative Variation / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Probability
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult