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Int J Psychophysiol. 2013 Sep;89(3):399-408. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Can working memory predict target-to-target interval effects in the P300?

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Centre for Psychophysics, Psychophysiology, and Psychopharmacology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; Brain & Behaviour Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Electronic address:


It has been suggested that the P300 component of the ERP is an electrophysiological index of memory-updating processes associated with task-relevant stimuli. Component magnitude varies with the time separating target stimuli (target-to-target interval: TTI), with longer TTIs eliciting larger P300 amplitudes. According to the template-update perspective, TTI effects observable in the P300 reflect the updating of stimulus-templates in working memory (WM). The current study explored whether young adults' memory-task ability could predict TTI effects in P300. EEG activity was recorded from 50 university students (aged 18-25 years) while they completed an auditory equiprobable Go/NoGo task with manipulations of TTIs. Participants also completed a CogStateĀ® battery and were sorted according to their WM score. ERPs were analysed using a temporal PCA. Two P300 components, P3b and the Slow Wave, were found to linearly increase in amplitude to longer TTIs. This TTI effect differed between groups only for the P3b component: The high WM group showed a steeper increase in P3b amplitude with TTI than the low WM group. These results suggest that TTI effects in P300 are directly related to WM processes.


Attention; Event-related potentials (ERPs); Interstimulus interval (ISI); Late positive complex (LPC); Memory; P300; P3b; Sequence effects; Slow Wave (SW); Target-to-target interval (TTI)

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