Psychophysiology Services (Core C)

Adult reading with child

The VKC Psychophysiology Lab supports researchers in investigating psychophysiological correlates of observed behavioral profiles in infants, children, and adults with typical and atypical development. Lab users receive access to electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potentials (ERP), and eye tracking (ET) techniques, which allow them to collect more extensive data than would be available using standard behavioral assessments alone, leading to new insights about the neurodevelopmental processes, brain-based markers of risk for adverse developmental outcomes, and additional objective measures of treatment effects.

Services can be tailored to specific project needs, including consulting on paradigm design, developing an experiment, collecting psychophysiological data, processing data, completing statistical analyses, interpreting data, and assisting in preparing final reports for publication. Additionally, lab personnel train investigators and project staff on practical aspects and theoretical issues related to psychophysiology methods relevant to specific projects. Services are provided on a fee-for-service basis ($55/hr); financial support may be available for small pilot studies to verify protocol feasibility and acquire pilot data for grant proposals.

Experiment Design

Services range from adapting existing behavioral paradigms for use with EEG/ERP/ET, to implementation of established EEG/ERP paradigms, and development of novel paradigms. Core personnel can assist with stimulus development and experiment coding in E-prime.

Data Acquisition

EEG/ERP data are acquired using 128-channel electrode arrays (Electrical Geodesics, Inc). The electrodes are encased in sponges soaked in salt water, can be applied in minutes, and are well-tolerated by individuals of all ages and ability levels. The lab is equipped to collect data across the life span, from premature infants to adults.

Basic processing of the EEG/ERP data is carried out by the lab staff. This may include filtering, segmentation, artifact rejection, averaging, re-referencing, and baseline correction. The processed files are provided to investigators in a text or Matlab format. For ERP data, automated peak scoring (amplitude, latency) option is also available.

Eye tracking data are acquired using Tobii systems (table-top or screen-mounted cameras, no head gear). Tobii Studio software is available for stimulus delivery and data scoring.

Data collection can be performed entirely by Lab staff or in collaboration with project-specific research personnel (training will be provided upon request). Lab staff oversee all data collection to insure high-quality data, and have developed specific participant behavior management procedures that minimize attrition rates due to poor quality/insufficient amounts of EEG/ERP/ET data.

In addition to the two testing rooms at the VKC lab, off-campus EEG/ERP/ET data collection can be performed using portable equipment.

Data Processing and Analysis

Unless requested otherwise by the investigator, all initial data processing prior to statistical analyses is performed by Core staff. This processing includes data quality review, artifact detection and removal or correction, electrode montage transformations, and export of the final product to text files.

Report Preparation

Service options include assistance with final report preparation (e.g., posters, talks, manuscripts) and range from consultations on data interpretation to written method, analysis, and results sections.

Attention Investigators!

If you make use of these services or facilities, please acknowledge this support in publications, as required by the EKS NICHD.

Sample: "Research supported in this publication was supported by the EKS NICHD of the NIH under Award #U54HD083211. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH."

Key Personnel