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Publication . Article . 2021

Understanding the causes and consequences of variability in infant ERP editing practices

Claire Monroy; Estefanía Domínguez-Martínez; Benjamin M. Taylor; Oscar Portolés Marin; Eugenio Parise; Vincent M. Reid;
Open Access

The current study examined the effects of variability on infant event-related potential (ERP) data editing methods. A widespread approach for analyzing infant ERPs is through a trial-by-trial editing process. Researchers identify electroencephalogram (EEG) channels containing artifacts and reject trials that are judged to contain excessive noise. This process can be performed manually by experienced researchers, partially automated by specialized software, or completely automated using an artifact-detection algorithm. Here, we compared the editing process from four different editors—three human experts and an automated algorithm—on the final ERP from an existing infant EEG dataset. Findings reveal that agreement between editors was low, for both the numbers of included trials and of interpolated channels. Critically, variability resulted in differences in the final ERP morphology and in the statistical results of the target ERP that each editor obtained. We also analyzed sources of disagreement by estimating the EEG characteristics that each human editor considered for accepting an ERP trial. In sum, our study reveals significant variability in ERP data editing pipelines, which has important consequences for the final ERP results. These findings represent an important step toward developing best practices for ERP editing methods in infancy research.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Medical Subject Headings: genetic structures psychological phenomena and processes behavioral disciplines and activities musculoskeletal, neural, and ocular physiology

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Natural language processing computer.software_genre computer Process (engineering) Artifact rejection Data editing Artificial intelligence business.industry business Computer science Noise (video) Electroencephalography medicine.diagnostic_test medicine


artifact rejection, data editing, ERP methodology, infant EEG, infant event-related potential, RJ, RJ101, Behavioral Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Developmental Neuroscience, Developmental and Educational Psychology, infant event-related potential, data editing, artifact rejection, infant EEG, ERP methodology, infant event-related potential, data editing, artifact rejection, infant EEG, ERP methodology

Funded by
Action research: Improving understanding and methodologies in early development
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 289404
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP3 | PEOPLE
Related to Research communities
Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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Developmental Psychobiology
Article . 2021
Providers: NARCIS