Using trial-level data and multilevel modeling to investigate within-task change in event-related potentials. Journal Article uri icon



  • EEG data, and specifically the ERP, provide psychologists with the power to examine quickly occurring cognitive processes at the native temporal resolution at which they occur. Despite the advantages conferred by ERPs to examine processes at different points in time, ERP researchers commonly ignore the trial-to-trial temporal dimension by collapsing across trials of similar types (i.e., the signal averaging approach) because of constraints imposed by repeated measures ANOVA. Here, we present the advantages of using multilevel modeling (MLM) to examine trial-level data to investigate change in neurocognitive processes across the course of an experiment. Two examples are presented to illustrate the usefulness of this technique. The first demonstrates decreasing differentiation in N170 amplitude to faces of different races across the course of a race categorization task. The second demonstrates attenuation of the ERN as participants commit more errors within a task designed to measure implicit racial bias. Although the examples presented here are within the realm of social psychology, the use of MLM to analyze trial-level EEG data has the potential to contribute to a number of different theoretical domains within psychology.

publication date

  • May 1, 2018

has subject area

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • December 22, 2017 9:19 AM

Full Author List

  • Volpert-Esmond HI; Merkle EC; Levsen MP; Ito TA; Bartholow BD

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8986

Additional Document Info

start page

  • e13044


  • 55


  • 5