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On the Relationship between P3 Latency and Mental Ability as a Function of Increasing Demands in a Selective Attention Task

1
Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Witten/Herdecke, 58448 Witten, Germany
2
Institute Human in Complex Systems, School for Applied Psychology, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, 4600 Olten, Switzerland
3
Institute for Psychology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9020028
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ERP and EEG Markers of Brain Visual Attentional Processing)
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Abstract

The mental speed approach to individual differences in mental ability (MA) is based on the assumption of higher speed of information processing in individuals with higher than those with lower MA. Empirical support of this assumption has been inconsistent when speed was measured by means of the P3 latency in the event-related potential (ERP). The present study investigated the association between MA and P3 latency as a function of task demands on selective attention. For this purpose, 20 men and 90 women performed on a standard continuous performance test (CPT1 condition) as well as on two further task conditions with lower (CPT0) and higher demands (CPT2) on selective attention. MA and P3 latency negatively correlated in the standard CPT, and this negative relationship even increased systematically from the CPT1 to the CPT2 condition but was absent in the CPT0 condition. The present results indicate that task demands on selective attention are decisive to observe the expected shorter P3 latency in individuals with higher compared to those with lower MA. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective attention; mental ability; P3 latency; continuous performance test; mental speed selective attention; mental ability; P3 latency; continuous performance test; mental speed
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Kapanci, T.; Merks, S.; Rammsayer, T.H.; Troche, S.J. On the Relationship between P3 Latency and Mental Ability as a Function of Increasing Demands in a Selective Attention Task. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 28.

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