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

By Emanuel Donchin | Go to book overview

Event-Related Brain Potentials as Tools in the Study of Cognitive Function
La Playa Hotel, Carmel, California
CHARGE TO PANELS
To facilitate our ability to deal with the vast area we are taking on in this workshop, the participants will be divided into six panels. Each panel is assigned a topic. The topics represent different aspects of cognitive science to which ERP methods have been applied.Each panel will be asked to prepare a report to be presented during the last two days of the workshop on the area it has been assigned. Three hours will be assigned to each panel during these last two days. This period should suffice for a presentation by the panel members of their principal findings as well as for a discussion of the area within the framework of the panel's report by the entire conference. One hopes, therefore, that the reports by the panels would be both constructive and provocative.Each panel is free to choose the format it will use to present its findings to the group. A series of presentations by all members, a unified presentation by one member, or some other format are all acceptable (barring, I think, chanting the report in unison).The panels will have one full day at the meeting to address their task. This is both ample and insufficient. It will be best if the panels begin working sooner. I have found on previous occasions that panels like this work best if the members have corresponded on the issues prior to the meeting. To get things underway, I have indicated a designated chairman for each panel. These chairmen will, I hope, initiate the correspondence as well as act, during the panel's discussions and presentations, in a chairmanly fashion.The following is an attempt to identify the questions to which it seems the panels should respond. This is very tentatively proposed and the participants can, and should, take the discussion in any direction they find appropriate.
1. What are the specific empirical claims currently made concerning ERPs which appear relevant to the area under discussion?
2. Which experimental paradigms have been used by ERP researchers? What is the apparent quality of the data? Are there serious methodological problems? Which claims can be temporarily accepted and which are unconvincing?
3. Assuming a valid data base, which aspects of it are relevant to the cognitive problems in the panel's charge? Are there specific issues of importance to the cognitive scientist which are now unresolved and to the resolution of which the ERP data may contribute?
4. What further work would be necessary before such a contribution might be generally accepted? That is, for those issues for which ERP data may be relevant, what are the insufficiencies of the data and what additional work may be needed?

-xvii-

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