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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

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

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