Biased odds for heads or tails: Outcome-evoked P3 depends on frequencies of guesses

Rolf Verleger*, Dariusz Asanowicz, Lucas Werner, Kamila Śmigasiewicz

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Events that had to be predicted evoke large P3 components of the event-related EEG potential. There is conflicting evidence whether these P3s are moderated by participants' preceding guesses. In the present study, participants made one prediction frequently and the other rarely because one stimulus was presented frequently and the other rarely. Thereby, effects on stimulus-evoked P3s of both guess frequency and stimulus frequency could be tested. Indeed, P3s were not only larger with rare than frequent stimuli but also larger after rare than frequent guesses. This result pattern may have additionally been affected by expectancies for payoff. In any case, the modification of outcome-evoked P3 by what had been guessed may reflect that each of the four guess-stimulus combinations is encoded as a separate event category. In terms of the stimulus-response link hypothesis of P3b, it is suggested that P3s are evoked by these events because internal responses (right or wrong) are associated to each of these event categories and need to be reactivated with rare guess-stimulus combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1048-1058
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2015


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