Attention-Related Increases in Cortical Responsivity Dissociated from the Contingent Negative Variation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Jun 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3988, pp. 1163-1166
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3988.1163


Certain tasks which increase attention to stimuli also elicit the contingent negative variation and increase the amplitude of the P300 component of the sensory evoked response. Therefore it appeared possible that the contingent negative variation and attention-related increases in P300 are either confounded by artifact or generated by common neural mechanisms. The fact that we have recorded attention-related increases in P300 amplitude independent of corresponding systematic changes in contingent negative variation indicates that neither of these possibilities is correct. The two phenomena are independently variable modulations of cortical activity.