Principles behind variance misallocation in temporal exploratory factor analysis for ERP data: Insights from an inter-factor covariance decomposition

Date created: | Last Updated:


Creating DOI. Please wait...

Create DOI

Category: Project

Description: Temporal exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is commonly applied to ERP data sets to reduce their dimensionality and the ambiguity with respect to the underlying components. However, the risk of variance misallocation (i.e., the incorrect allocation of condition effects) has raised concerns with regard to EFA usage. Here, we show that variance misallocation occurs because of biased factor covariance estimates and the temporal overlap between the underlying components. We also highlight the consequences of our findings for the analysis of ERP data with EFA. For example, a direct consequence of our expositions is that researchers should use oblique rather than orthogonal rotations, especially when the factors have a substantial topographic overlap. A Monte Carlo simulation confirms our results by showing, for instance, that characteristic biases occur only for orthogonal Varimax rotation but not for oblique rotation methods such as Geomin or Promax. We discuss the practical implications of our results and outline some questions for future research.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


Publication The article was published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology under the DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.03.019. Corresponding author Florian Scharf ( The following material is available: The post-peer-review author's version of the article. Original Figures Scripts for simulations, analyses and figure generation Sample results necessary to prod...


Loading files...



Recent Activity

Loading logs...

OSF does not support the use of Internet Explorer. For optimal performance, please switch to another browser.
This website relies on cookies to help provide a better user experience. By clicking Accept or continuing to use the site, you agree. For more information, see our Privacy Policy and information on cookie use.

Start managing your projects on the OSF today.

Free and easy to use, the Open Science Framework supports the entire research lifecycle: planning, execution, reporting, archiving, and discovery.