[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is important to understand the role of individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC). We investigated the relation between differences in WMC and N1 in event-related brain potentials as a measure of early selective attention for an auditory distractor in three-stimulus oddball tasks that required minimum memory. A high-WMC group (n=13) showed a smaller N1 in response to a distractor and target than did a low-WMC group (n=13) in the novel condition with high distraction. However, in the simple condition with low distraction, there was no difference in N1 between the groups. For all participants (n=52), the correlation between the scores for WMC and N1 peak amplitude was strong for distractors in the novel condition, whereas there was no relation in the simple condition. These results suggest that WMC can predict the interference control for a salient distractor at auditory gating even during a selective attention task.