Neuropsychology of P300

John Polich

in The Oxford Handbook of Event-Related Potential Components

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195374148
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Neuropsychology of P300

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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The discovery of the P300 event-related potential (ERP) stimulated the use of brain recording methods to assess human cognition. This chapter reviews the background and develops an integrated interpretation of P300. First, empirical issues and a theoretical overview are presented. Second, applied uses of P300 are reviewed, with normative and clinical studies highlighted. Third, the neuropsychological background and neurophysiological foundations of the P3a and P3b subcomponents are outlined. Fourth, neuropharmacological processes related to these constituent potentials are sketched to suggest how neurotransmitter systems may contribute to P300 production. Fifth, the P3a and P3b are proposed to result from neuroinhibition that is engaged when incoming stimuli garner attentional processes to facilitate memory encoding.

Keywords: P300; event-related potential; neuroinhibition; memory; cognition

Article.  17441 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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