Alpha phase reset contributes to the generation of ERPs

Simon Hanslmayr, Wolfgang Klimesch, Paul Sauseng, Walter Gruber, Michael Doppelmayr, Roman Freunberger, Thomas Pecherstorfer, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


An unresolved question in electroencephalogram (EEG) research is whether event-related potentials (ERPs) are generated by phase-reset or evoked response. We analyzed data of a visual feature detection task and will show 1) phase concentration in the alpha frequency range, 2) ongoing alpha activity prior to stimulus onset, 3) evoked alpha oscillation in the ERP, 4) lack of power increase during phase concentration, 5) decrease in amplitude variance during early evoked components preceding a decrease in power, and 6) the same cortical sources for induced prestimulus power and evoked poststimulus power. Because none of these data provide unequivocal evidence for phase reset, we additionally tested the basic assumption of the evoked model, which is the additivity of the evoked response on the basis of a simulation approach. Our findings suggest that nonadditive processes-typical for a phase reset-are involved in the generation of the ERP. Thus, together with the other findings this study provides unequivocal evidence for phase resetting in the human EEG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Perception


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