Table 6: Description of EEG Paradigms.

From: An open resource for transdiagnostic research in pediatric mental health and learning disorders

Task Degree of stimulation Description Duration Reference*
Active (task-dependent paradigms)
Sequence Learning Paradigm Moderate Participants are asked to observe and memorize a sequence of either five or ten stimuli, depending on age. The sequence is repeated across five trials.
The purpose of the paradigm is to track the progress of gradual memory formation. EEG and/or ERP signatures of basic stimulus processing and memory encoding can be examined with respect to behavioral indices of learning performance on a block-by-block or trial-by-trial basis.
5 min Steinemann, N. A., Moisello, C., Ghilardi, M. F., & Kelly, S. P. (2016). Tracking neural correlates of successful learning over repeated sequence observations. NeuroImage, 137,152–164.
Visual Perception/Decision-making Paradigm Moderate Participants continuously monitor two overlaid, flickering grating patterns on a screen, indicating with a button press when they detect a contrast difference between the two.
This task furnishes behavioral metrics (reaction time, accuracy) for simple decisions and electrophyiological signatures of evidence encoding, accumulation, and motor preparation.
9 min (3 runs of 3 min each) O'Connell, R. G., Dockree, P. M. & Kelly, S. P. A supramodal accumulation-to-bound signal that determines perceptual decisions in humans. Nature neuroscience 15,1729–1735 (2012).
WISC-IV Symbol Search Paradigm Complex For each trial in the symbol search paradigm, participants are shown rows of two target symbols and five symbols, and asked to indicate whether or not one of the target symbols appears in one of the five subsequent symbols.
The paradigm is a computerized version of a clinical pediatric assessment intended to measure processing speed capacity. Eye tracking is used to gather information about how long participants look at each symbol and their strategy for completing the task.
2 min Wechsler, D. The Wechsler intelligence scale for children. 4th edn (Pearson, 2004).
Passive (task-independent paradigms)
Resting-State None Participants view a fixation cross on the center of the computer screen. Throughout the paradigm, participants are instructed to open or close their eyes at various points.
The paradigm is intended to measure endogenous brain activity during rest.
5 min Fox, M. D. & Greicius, M. Clinical applications of resting state functional connectivity. Frontiers in systems neuroscience 4,19 (2010).
Inhibition/Excitation Paradigm Minimal The stimulus used for this paradigm consists of four small flickering discs embedded in a static grating background. The discs generate strong steady-state responses that vary with contrast of the flickering stimuli.
The paradigm is intended to measure excitatory (SSVEP) and inhibitory (surround suppression) neurophysiological activity.
3.5 min Vanegas, M. I., Blangero, A., & Kelly, S. P. (2015). Electrophysiological indices of surround suppression in humans. Journal of neurophysiology, 113(4), 1100–1109.
Naturalistic Stimuli Paradigm Complex Participants view a montage of short video clips taken from age-appropriate, mainstream television and movies.
Stimuli include the following:
Despicable Me (Clip from feature-length film; 2.83 min)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Trailer for feature-length film; 1.95 min)
‘Fun with Fractals’ (Educational video clip; 2.72 min)
The Present (Short film; 3.47 min)
The purpose of this paradigm is to measure neurophysiological activity during higher-level audio-visual stimulation.
11 min Hasson, U., et al. Intersubject synchronization of cortical activity during natural vision. Science 303,1634–1640 (2004).; Hasson, U., et al. Reliability of cortical activity during natural stimulation. Trends in cognitive sciences 14,40–48 (2010).; Bartels, A. & Zeki, S. Functional brain mapping during free viewing of natural scenes. Human brain mapping 21,75–85 (2004).
  1. Adapted from: Langer N et al.30
  2. * The listed references suggest further reading regarding research questions that can be asked using each paradigm, which is not necessarily used in the cited studies. See Langer et al.30 for the precise details of all paradigms run as part of this initiative.