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Why Should Eyes be Open for P300 Testing?

Samuel R. Atcherson, PhD

July 8, 2013

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Question

Why should the eyes be open during P300 testing - just to ensure alertness?

Answer

Closing the eyes during Cortical Event-Related Potentials (CERPs) has the effect of producing large alpha EEG waves, and as the patient drifts into even light sleep, the cortex becomes less active and thalamo-cortical rhythms associated with sleep begin to emerge. This, in effect, would reduce or even eliminate the evoked potential of interest, particularly if the goal is to discriminate between two acoustic events.

Secondly, P300 tests are generally quite boring and long, and if the patient has eyed closed, the likelihood they will fall asleep during an active button-pressing or counting task, will be quite high.

For an in-depth discussion of this topic, please view Dr. Atcherson’s recorded course on AudiologyOnline, Neurodiagnostic Auditory Evoked Responses Applications.

 


samuel r atcherson

Samuel R. Atcherson, PhD

Samuel R. Atcherson, Ph.D. received his undergraduate and masters degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia and his doctorate with emphasis in auditory electrophysiology from the University of Memphis. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in consortium with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is the author of over 60 publications including 2 books, 4 book chapters, and 25 peer-reviewed articles, and he has given over 100 presentations on topics involving auditory rehabilitation, assistive technology, clinical electrophysiology, age-related hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and health literacy. Dr. Atcherson is a bilateral cochlear implantee and is past president of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses.


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