ERP components and behavior in the auditory equiprobable go/no-go task: Inhibition in young adults



Publication Details

Fogarty, J., Barry, R., De Blasio, F. & Steiner, G. (2018). ERP components and behavior in the auditory equiprobable go/no-go task: Inhibition in young adults. Psychophysiology, 55 (7), 1-11.


Previous research suggests that young adults do not need active and effortful inhibition to successfully complete the auditory equiprobable go/no-go task, a view that was incorporated into Barry and De Blasio’s sequential processing schema for this task. However, recent evidence in children suggests that view could be incorrect. The present research aims to clarify the functionality of the N2 and P3 subcomponents within the proposed schema, assessing the role of inhibition in this task. To optimize the quantification of the N2 and P3 subcomponents, separate temporal PCAs were applied to the go/no-go ERP data from 40 young adults. Correlations were then used to link subcomponent amplitudes with performance outcomes, informing a functional interpretation of each subcomponent. Larger N2b and P3a amplitudes were each linked to fewer commission errors. N2c amplitude also increased with intraindividual reaction time variability, but no performance outcomes were associated with P3b. These findings link the young adult N2b and P3a with inhibition in the auditory equiprobable task, confirming the importance of control for successful nontarget processing in that paradigm. The functionality of N2c and P3b remain unclear from our results. However, these outcomes improve our understanding of cognitive processing in equiprobable tasks, and contribute to an improved conceptualization of the sequential processing schema.

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