Polich J. Updating P300: an integrative theory of P3a and P3b

Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 3.1). 11/2007; 118(10):2128-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2007.04.019
Source: PubMed


The empirical and theoretical development of the P300 event-related brain potential (ERP) is reviewed by considering factors that contribute to its amplitude, latency, and general characteristics. The neuropsychological origins of the P3a and P3b subcomponents are detailed, and how target/standard discrimination difficulty modulates scalp topography is discussed. The neural loci of P3a and P3b generation are outlined, and a cognitive model is proffered: P3a originates from stimulus-driven frontal attention mechanisms during task processing, whereas P3b originates from temporal-parietal activity associated with attention and appears related to subsequent memory processing. Neurotransmitter actions associating P3a to frontal/dopaminergic and P3b to parietal/norepinephrine pathways are highlighted. Neuroinhibition is suggested as an overarching theoretical mechanism for P300, which is elicited when stimulus detection engages memory operations.

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    • "The P3a amplitude decreases with repetition and habituates rapidly. It is sensitive to variations in top-down monitoring by frontal attention mechanisms engaged to evaluate incoming stimuli and is related to the orienting response[22]. In contrast, the P3b potential, partially generated in the medial temporal lobe, has a more posteriorparietal scalp distribution, a somewhat longer latency and is less sensitive to habituation, than P3a. "

    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
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    • "P3, which is generated along midline electrodes, reaches peak amplitude 250–500 ms after the presentation of target stimuli. The P3 component is comprised of at least two subcomponents: a frontally generated P3a involved in novelty detection, and a medial temporal lobe generated P3b involved in stimulus evaluation (for a review, see Polich, 2007). While P3 is elicited by a number of executive control tasks (e.g. "
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    • "The P3 is 78 a positive-going ERP deflection peaking between 300 and 600 ms after stimulus presentation. Several studies 79 have shown that its amplitude is related to attention spent on a task (Polich and Kok, 1995), task relevancePrevious investigations have established that scalp-recorded P3 is not a unitary phenomenon, indeed the P3 83 component has been shown to represent a complex response, and multiple peaks in the time window of P3 84 are observed in relation to different experimental designs (Rushby et al., 2005;Lawrence and Barry, 2009;85 Barry et al., 2011;Barry et al., 2013), and task demands (Polich, 2007;Wronka et al., 2008). The multiple P3 86 peaks are generally also differentiated by their topography. "
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