The effect of the skull on event-related P300.

Laboratory for Neuroimaging of Functional Psychosis, Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Nussbaumstrasse 7, 80336 Munich, Germany.
Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.98). 10/2001; 112(9):1773-6. DOI: 10.1016/S1388-2457(01)00587-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Event-related potentials (EP) indicate neuronal processes with a high temporal resolution, while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has a high spatial distribution. Information from both techniques may complement each other. However, this combination is fraught with difficulty because of a possible interference of the skull or the scalp with scalp-recorded EP. The aim of the present study was to investigate this influence of skull and scalp thicknesses on event-related P300 potentials.
Thirty healthy controls were examined using an auditory evoked P300 elicited by a standard oddball paradigm. Skull and scalp thicknesses were determined using coronal T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
P3b-amplitudes were significantly correlated with temporo-parietal skull thickness (r=-0.42; P=0.021; regression slope of -1.14 microV/mm skull thickness), whereas scalp had no influence on P300. The amplitude of the more frontal subcomponent P3a was not related to frontal skull thickness.
Therefore, the utility of P300 as a research tool can be enhanced when adjustment for skull thickness is made.