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Neural correlates of inspection time: the tactical role of P3b
  • Yilai Pei,
  • Tatia Lee,
  • ZhaoXin Wang
Yilai Pei
East China Normal University Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics of the Ministry of Education
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Tatia Lee
The University of Hong Kong
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ZhaoXin Wang
East China Normal University Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics of the Ministry of Education

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Both P3b and Inspection Time Task (ITT) are related with intelligence, yet their relationships have not been well addressed. This event-related potential study sought to address this question with four levels of discriminative stimulus duration, and further tried to shed lights on the long controversial subject about what psychological process is associated with P3b. Participants (N=25) were asked to perform this ITT while undergoing 64-channel EEG recording. A Tapping task and four Elementary Cognitive Tests (ECTs), including a Simple Reaction Time (SRT), 2 Choice Reaction Time task (CRT), and a Pattern Discrimination task (PD), were included. N1, P1, and P3b at Pz were analyzed. Results showed that the P3b latency significantly prolonged with the increase of ITT duration. More intriguingly, the P3b latencies was negatively correlated with ITT accuracies but positively correlated with the RTs of the SRT, but only in the 34 ms condition. No significant correlation was found between the P3b latencies and the RTs of other ECTs or the Tapping task. Our results indicate that those who are able to accurately perceive and process very briefly presented stimuli have a higher information processing speed reflected by P3b latency, which is likely a reflection of mainly bottom-up process to form a perceptual memory and a decision. We conclude that these results support Verleger et al.’s view that P3b elicited by ITT, at least in the early stage, is more related with tactical processing that marks the closure of a perceptual epoch, rather than strategic processing or metacognition.