Interaction of oddball probability and primary task type on P300 in the dual-task paradigm

Jodi Willard, Mary Johnson, Joel P Rosenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Using a dual-task paradigm with an oddball secondary task, P300 amplitude and latency were studied as a function of factorially manipulated oddball probability (low = .22, high = .44) and primary task type. In addition to a Baseline condition (oddball task only), three primary tasks were used: (1) Pure Sensory;watching a movie; (2) Pure Motor (manipulating a flashlight); and (3) Sensory/Motor (using the flashlight to trace the outlines of characters in a movie). The findings included the usual significant effects of probability on amplitude. There was also a significant effect of task type on amplitude, and a significant interaction of oddball probability with task type. In the low but not high probability condition, a pure Sensory task depressed P300 amplitude. In both probability conditions, the Sensory/motor task depressed P300 amplitude. Only task type had a significant effect on P300 latency. The results confirm the ability of other labs (using Sensory/motor primary tasks) to demonstrate P300 depression at high oddball probability, in view of the difficulty in our lab of achieving P300 depression with pure sensory tasks and high oddball probabilities. The results are discussed in terms of partial overlap of processing resource pools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalBiofeedback and Self-Regulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • P300
  • dual-task paradigm
  • event-related potentials
  • oddball probability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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