Subjectivity in the Analysis of Cortical Potential
Introduction: The long latency auditory evoked potential (P300) is considered to be an objective of examination due to its application mode, however, it depends on the subjectivity of the evaluator to consider the presence or absence of the potential.
Objective: This study aims to investigate the subjectivity in the analysis of P300 between professionals and students with and without experience in performing the examination.
Methods: Overall 19 P300 examinations were selected from a database randomly. The sample consisted of 11 subjects, divided into four groups: Group 1 (G1): 4 audiologists with 3 years of experience performing the P300; Group 2 (G2): 3 inexperienced audiologists with the examination; Group 3 (G3): 3 students with 1 year experiencing during the undergraduation period; Group 4 (G4): 3 students without any experience with P300. Tests were being delivered randomly with the waves performed at the time of delivery, in order to avoid any research. Participants were instructed to mark the exogenous and endogenous complexes. After that, the results of marking the examinations were compared between the different groups.
Results: It was observed that 8 examinations in the G1 (42%) were in agreement markings and 11 (58%) were in disagreement; in G2 5 (26.3%) examinations were in agreement and 14 (73.7%) in disagreement; in G3 6 (31.5%) examinations were in agreement, while 13 (68.5%) were not; in G4 8 (42%) examinations were in agreement and 11 (58%) in disagreement.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that subjectivity has real influence on the analysis of the tests, since there was considerable disagreement markings on intra- and intergroups.
Keywords: Electrophysiology, event-related potentials, P300, qualitative analysis.