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The oddball paradigm is a technique used in evoked potential research in which trains of stimuli that are usually auditory or visual are used to assess the neural reactions to unpredictable but recognizable events. The subject is asked to react either by counting or by button pressing incidences of target stimuli that are hidden as rare occurrences amongst a series of more common stimuli, that often require no response. It has been found that an evoked research potential across the parieto-central area of the skull that is usually around 300 ms and called P300 is larger after the target stimulus.

It was first used by Nancy Squires, Kenneth Squires and Steven Hillyard at the University of California, San Diego[1]


  1. Squires NK, Squires KC, Hillyard SA. (1975). Two varieties of long-latency positive waves evoked by unpredictable auditory stimuli in man. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 38(4):387-401. PMID 46819

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