Sequential P3 effects in a Posner's spatial cueing paradigm: Trial-by-trial learning of the predictive value of the cue
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The neurocognitive consequences of correct or incorrect spatial prediction in a sequential S1-S2 paradigm were assessed. Sequential dependence on previous trial outcome (valid or invalid) was assessed by late Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) and behavioral responses. Two different experiments were performed, situating the target in the vertical (Experiment 1) or in the horizontal (Experiment 2) meridian. RTs and late positivities (P3a and P3b) were recorded. ERPs showed that posterior positivity (probably a P3b) was greater in invalid-valid trials than in valid-valid trials but lower than in valid-invalid trials. However, at the frontal electrodes, late positivity (probably a P3a) only appeared in valid-invalid trials, indicating that invalid trials are analyzed as novel-like stimuli. The P3b results suggest trial-by-trial learning of the predictive value of the cue, which needs to be updated as indicated by the pattern of P3b amplitudes: valid-invalid > invalid-valid > valid-valid.
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M. Gomez, Laboratory of Human Psychobiology, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Seville, Spain