Event-related potentials as indices of display-monitoring performance

Leonard J. Trejo, Arthur F. Kramer, Josh A. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated event-related potentials (ERP) as indices of performance in three visual display-monitoring tasks: 1. (a) signal detection, 2. (b) running memory and 3. (c) computation. Using factor analysis, we developed a global measure of performance (PF1) for each task. Task-relevant and irrelevant-probe stimuli elicited ERPs, which included components P1, N1, P2, P300, slow waves, and fronto-central negativities. In tasks (a) and (b), P300 amplitude in the task-relevant ERPs increased when the task was engaged, and was greater for accuratethan for inaccurate-response trials. In tasks (a) and (c), the irrelevant-probe ERPs also differed among task and performance conditions. To relate ERP measures to PF1, we developed linear regression models distinguished by three factors: general versus individual-subject, stimulus relevance, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Model accuracy and reliability were highest for individual-subject, relevant-stimulus and high-SNR models, where average R2 values for the three tasks were 0.44, 0.46, and 0.38, respectively. We discuss implications of the models for performance monitoring and implications of the ERP effects for human information processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-71
Number of pages39
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1995


  • Display-monitoring
  • Event-related potentials
  • Performance
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Stimulus relevance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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