Response- and stimulus-related ERP asymmetries in a tonal oddball task: a Laplacian analysis

Brain Topogr. Spring 1998;10(3):201-10. doi: 10.1023/a:1022261226370.


Previous studies have found greater P3 amplitude over right than left hemisphere sites in a tonal oddball task with a reaction time (RT) response. This asymmetry had a central topography, and interacted with response hand. Identification of the processes underlying these asymmetries requires the use of additional methods for separating response- and stimulus-related contributions. We applied local Hjorth and spherical spline algorithms to compute surface Laplacian topographies of ERP data recorded from 30 scalp electrodes in a pooled sample of 46 right-handed healthy adults. For both methods, the current sources underlying the late positive complex were largest at medial parietal regions, but were asymmetric at central and frontocentral sites. Although a frontocentral sink contralateral to the response hand contributed to the asymmetry of the classic P3 peak, the source asymmetry was most robust after the sink had resolved. The late source was largest at electrode C4 for right hand responses, and was further enhanced in subjects showing a dichotic left ear advantage, but was unrelated to response speed. We conclude that the right hemisphere source reflects an interaction of response-related asymmetries with right hemisphere processes responsible for pitch discrimination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Scalp / innervation