Preliminary Observations on the Effects of Response Parameters on Pre-Response Potentials

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Book Chapter

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This chapter discusses the effects that response parameters may have on the slow pre-response cortical negativity, which is sometimes labeled the readiness potential (RP). In an experiment described in the chapter, outcomes were presented in different sequences, the outcome being completely predictable in some series and being completely unpredictable in the other. If the outcome is predictable, the responding hand is also predictable. A “motor” interpretation of the pre-response potentials should predict a different cortical distribution of pre-response potentials during predictable and unpredictable series. Two padded vertical poles protruded from the subject's arm rest. The subject held his palm against the proximal pole and held his fingers around the more distal pole. The two poles were attached to a heavy steel spring. The distal pole could be moved toward the proximal pole by depressing the spring. By varying the position of the microswitch with respect to the moving pole, the force with which S was required to squeeze could be varied. Force requirements in this device were confounded with the displacement requirements.

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Preliminary Observations on the Effects of Response Parameters on Pre-Response Potentials, in W. C. McCallum & J. R. Knott (Eds.), The Responsive Brain: Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Event-Related Slow Potentials of the Brain, John Wright and Sons, p. 108-110