An alternative method for significance testing of waveform difference potentials

Psychophysiology. 1993 Sep;30(5):518-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1993.tb02075.x.


Guthrie and Buchwald (1991) proposed an ad hoc procedure for assessing the statistical significance of waveform difference potentials that may arise in a variety of psychophysiology research contexts. In our paper, an alternative method is presented and demonstrated that has fewer underlying assumptions than does the Guthrie-Buchwald test and may, therefore, produce better results in some situations. In particular, the test proposed here (a) is distribution free, (b) requires no assumption of an underlying correlation structure (e.g., first-order autoregressive), (c) requires no estimate of the population autocorrelation coefficient, (d) is exact, (e) produces p values for any number of subjects and time points, and (f) is highly intuitive as well as theoretically justifiable. This procedure may be used to carry out multiple comparisons with exact specification of experiment-wise error, however, this test is based on permutation principles and may require large amounts of computer time for its implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychophysiology / statistics & numerical data*