Event Abstract

Intra-Individual Response Variability: Insights from ERP Topographies

  • 1 University of Wollongong, School of Psychology, Australia
  • 2 Western Sydney University, NICM, Australia

Aims Event-related potential (ERP) studies of intra-individual reaction time variability (IRTV) consistently report associations with the P3b, attributing highly variable outcomes to lapses in attention and decision-making processes. The extent of these effects in stimulus-response processes are, however, unknown and so the present study investigated Go ERP component differences in individuals identified as having low or high response variability in a Go/NoGo task. Method Continuous EEG data from 46 healthy participants (aged 18-27 years) were recorded during an auditory equiprobable Go/NoGo paradigm, where a button press was required for the Go but not for the NoGo tone. Mean RTs, IRTV (calculated as the within-subject standard deviation of RT), and error rates were assessed, with participants sorted and evenly divided into two groups according to Go IRTV results (n = 23 in each group). Go ERPs were epoched -100 to 700 ms around stimulus onset, and submitted to temporal PCA for component identification. The following ERP components were extracted: N1-1, Processing Negativity (PN), P2, N2c, P3b, Slow Wave (SW), and Late Negativity (LN). Component amplitudes were statistically compared between the low and high IRTV groups. Results Significant group differences were evident behaviourally as those with high IRTV produced more Go/NoGo errors than the low IRTV group. In terms of ERP component topographies, N1-1, PN, and P2 amplitudes did not differ between groups. In the following components, however, high IRTV individuals showed greater centroparietal N2c negativity and reduced midline P3b amplitude, followed by larger central SW positivity. The LN did not differ between groups. Conclusion Individuals with high IRTV exhibited poorer task performance outcomes and employed greater cognitive efforts for Go response facilitations, as reflected by the larger N2c amplitude, reduced P3b, and SW enhancement. How task- or stimulus-related preparatory activity contributes to these outcomes requires further investigation.

Keywords: response variability, Cognition, Attention, decision-making, event-related potentials (ERPs), Principal Components Analysis (PCA)

Conference: ASP2016 - The 26th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Adelaide Australia, Adelaide,SA, Australia, 12 Dec - 14 Dec, 2016.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Abstract (student award)

Citation: Karamacoska D, Barry RJ and Steiner GZ (2016). Intra-Individual Response Variability: Insights from ERP Topographies. Conference Abstract: ASP2016 - The 26th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Adelaide Australia. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2016.221.00018

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Received: 31 Oct 2016; Published Online: 05 Dec 2016.

* Correspondence: Miss. Diana Karamacoska, University of Wollongong, School of Psychology, Wollongong, Australia, d.karamacoska@westernsydney.edu.au