P300 Scalp amplitude distribution as an index of deception in a simulated cognitive deficit model

J. Peter Rosenfeld*, Joel W. Ellwanger, Katie Nolan, Susan Wu, Romina G. Bermann, Jerry Sweet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Truth-telling (Truth) and simulated malingering (Malinger) groups were tested in a matching-to-sample procedure in which each sample three-digit number was followed by a series of nine test numbers, only one of which matched the sample. P300 was recorded during test-number presentation. Group analyses revealed differences between the P300s of the groups in unscaled amplitude, but not latency, in response to match and mismatch stimuli. P300 amplitudes at Fz, Cz, and Pz were scaled to remove possible confounding effects of amplitude in tests of the interactions of site with other variables. Significant interactions of both stimulus-type (match vs. mismatch) and group (Truth vs. Malinger) with site were obtained. Within the Malinger group, a significant interaction was obtained (scaled data) between site and response type (honest vs. dishonest). These interactions suggest that deceptive and honest responding are associated with different neurogenerator sets or different sets of P300-overlapping components. In within-individual analyses, 100% of the Truth participants and 87% of the Malinger participants were found to have larger P300 responses at Pz to match stimuli than to mismatch stimuli on the basis of intra-individual bootstrap tests. This represents an improvement in comparison with our related, previous report on a matching-to-sample test using only one test stimulus per sample. (C) Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999


  • Amplitude distribution
  • Detection of deception
  • Malingering
  • P300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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