string length

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A measure of the complexity of an average evoked potential or an event-related potential corresponding to the length of a piece of string laid over a trace of the waveform, a longer string being required for a trace with many high-amplitude deviations from the baseline than for one with few lower-amplitude deviations in the first 250 or 500  ms following onset of the signal. The concept was introduced in 1980 in an article in the journal Personality and Individual Differences by Alan E. and Donna E. Hendrickson, who found a correlation of .72 between string length and Wechsler IQ in a sample of school children, but hopes that this might provide a truly culture-free measure of intelligence were dashed by subsequent research, which failed to replicate this result. Compare N140, P200.

Subjects: Psychology.

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