The p300 as a marker of waning attention and error propensity.

03 Oct 2017

Action errors can occur when routine responses are triggered inappropriately by familiar cues. Here, EEG was recorded as volunteers performed a "go/no-go" task of long duration that occasionally and unexpectedly required them to withhold a frequent, routine response. EEG components locked to the onset of relevant go trials were sorted according to whether participants erroneously responded to immediately subsequent no-go trials or correctly withheld their responses. Errors were associated with a significant relative reduction in the amplitude of the preceding P300, that is, a judgement could be made bout whether a response-inhibition error was likely before it had actually occurred. Furthermore, fluctuations in P300 amplitude across the task formed a reliable associate of individual error propensity, supporting its use as a marker of sustained control over action.