Cognitive Psychophysiology: Event-Related Potentials and the Study of Cognition

Cognitive Psychophysiology: Event-Related Potentials and the Study of Cognition

Cognitive Psychophysiology: Event-Related Potentials and the Study of Cognition

Cognitive Psychophysiology: Event-Related Potentials and the Study of Cognition

Excerpt

Carmel, as is well known, is a lovely community nestled along the stunning Pacific shore and offering the amenities of a very classy, but tasteful, resort. Yet it is sufficiently isolated to assure that conferees spend much time together. It was for these reasons that Carmel was selected in 1979 as the site for a series of conferences sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The series was supported within the framework of Sloan's Cognitive Science program. The conferences were designed to examine in detail the assertion that the endogenous components of the Event-Related Brain Potential (ERP) can serve as a tool in the analysis of cognition.

To this effect six annual workshops were convened, five in Carmel and the sixth at the Rockefeller Foundation's Center in Bellagio. Each of the workshops brought together about a dozen Cognitive Psychophysiologists and a dozen investigators from another discipline. For a week the participants examined critically the concepts, methods, and findings of each other's discipline. All through the meetings, the analyses focused on the degree to which ERP data indeed augment the insights into Human Information Processing that can be gained by more traditional methods. The limits of the ERP techniques were explored and the theoretical implications of the work were examined critically.

The format remained the same throughout the series. The workshop began with a series of Tutorials designed to give the participants a quick overview of the state of the art as seen by practitioners of the other discipline. This was followed by two days in which the participants met in small groups. Each of these panels received a detailed charge addressing a specific segment of the workshop's topic. The panels conducted very intense . . .

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