Long-term reliability of the visual EEG Poffenberger paradigm

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Abstract

The Poffenberger paradigm is a simple perception task that is used to estimate the speed of information transfer between the two hemispheres, the so-called interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT). Although the original paradigm is a behavioral task, it can be combined with electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the underlying neurophysiological processes during task execution. While older studies have supported the validity of both paradigms for investigating interhemispheric interactions, their long-term reliability has not been assessed systematically before. The present study aims to fill this gap by determining both internal consistency and long-term test-retest reliability of IHTTs produced by using the two different versions of the Poffenberger paradigm in a sample of 26 healthy subjects. The results show high reliability for the EEG Poffenberger paradigm. In contrast, reliability measures for the behavioral Poffenberger paradigm were low. Hence, our results indicate that electrophysiological measures of interhemispheric transfer are more reliable than behavioral measures; the later should be used with caution in research investigating inter-individual differences of neurocognitive measures.

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