Electric source localization of the auditory P300 agrees with magnetic source localization

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1995 Nov;96(6):538-45. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(95)00087-f.


The event-related cortical potential elicited in the context of auditory target detection tasks includes the N1, P2 and P3 components. The aim of the present study was to identify the sources of these scalp-recorded components using an electrical multiple dipole model. Nine healthy adults volunteered for the study. An auditory oddball paradigm was used. Stimuli (18% target and 82% non-target tones) were delivered through ear-phones and subjects were required to silently count the targets. Event-related potentials (ERPs) to these stimuli were recorded by 30 electrodes placed on the scalp. The identification of the sources of the ERP was attempted using the brain electric source analysis (BESA) program. The instantaneous source locations of N1, P2 and P3 reported in magnetoencephalographic (MEG) literature were used as initial starting locations for the spatio-temporal multiple dipole modeling of the EEG data. First the auditory long latency responses were modeled separately. Bilateral superior temporal plane sources with almost vertical orientations explained the first 250 msec window of the non-target tone recording including N1/P2 complex. This agrees with MEG source localization of N1m/P2m. Two slightly deeper dipoles in superior temporal gyri and bilateral dipoles in hippocampi or parahippocampal areas explained P3 (analysis window 250-600 msec). The final model explained the complete epoch of 600 msec with 6 dipoles and the residual variances of individual models ranged from 3.83% to 7.77%. The concordance between MEG and BESA source localization results supports the notion of generators in temporal lobes for the N1/P2 complex and generators in temporal and hippocampal areas for the P3 component.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetics*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological