headphones for stimulus delivery in ERP recording

elliott at VAX309.NHRC.NAVY.MIL elliott at VAX309.NHRC.NAVY.MIL
Fri Oct 15 10:09:17 EST 1993

In article <MARVIT.93Oct12163349 at cattell.psych.upenn.edu>, marvit at cattell.psych.upenn.edu (Peter Marvit) writes:
>We're just using loudspeakers for auditory stimulus, though we have the
>recording requipment somewhat masked/muffled and far away from the
>subject.  Why do specifically need headphones (not a criticism, just
>I haven't tested it empirically, but I would worry that headphones might
>provide enough of a stray signal to bollux close electrodes.  Any data?
>	-Peter "click, click, click" Marvit
>: Peter Marvit <marvit at psych.upenn.edu>,   Psychology Dept,  Univ. of Penn :
>: 3815 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA  19104  w:215/898-6274  h:215/387-6433 :


Phones are useful for dichotic presentation and to prevent
noises from the environment from contaminating your stimulus
stream.  You also have better control of stim intensity, and
it's easier to calibrate stim levels from an isolated ear piece
on head phones.

I haven't had any problems with noise from phones in ERPs or
EEG spectra.  If you are using MEG, however, you would probably
need to go with an air-conducting medium.  These systems are
similar to airline headsets in that the speaker elements are
located some distance from the ear, and the sound is carried to
the ear via air-filled tubes.

F. Scot Elliott
Research Psychologist
Naval Health Research Center, San Diego

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