Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Nathan D. ZaslerEmail author
  • Jeffery Samuels
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_56


Oddball stimulus


The P300 is an event-related potential that usually appears 300 ms after the recognition of a specific stimulus in a series of stimuli that are unlike with the presented stimulus. The P300 is often referred to as the “oddball stimulus.” Its spatial signature is a spherically symmetric distribution with the vertex (electrode position Cz) as its center, which dominates at parietal electrode sites and is typically a positive waveform of a few to 100 mV.

Current Knowledge

The occurrence of the P300 seems to be a marker for attention to a stimulus of interest that replaces the “boredom” of a series of stimuli that do not have the specific qualities that are to be responded to. It is understood to indicate that the subject is consciously identifying and categorizing the stimulus and updating working memory with the new information. The P300 only peaks in the vicinity of 300 ms for very simple decisions. More difficult and complex categorizing decisions...

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References and Readings

  1. Doi, R., Morita, K., Shigemori, M., Tokutomi, T., & Maeda, H. (2007). Characteristics of cognitive function in patients after traumatic brain injury assessed by visual and auditory event-related potentials. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 86(8), 641–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fazel-Rezai, R., Allison, B. Z., Guger, C., et al. (2012). P300 interface: Current challenges and emerging trends. Frontiers in neuroengineering, 5, 14.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Lew, H. L., Thomander, D., Gray, M., & Poole, J. H. (2007). The effects of increasing stimulus complexity in event-related potentials and reaction time testing: Clinical applications in evaluating patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 24(5), 398–404.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Luck, S. J. (2005). An introduction to the event-related potential technique. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Reza, M. F., Ikoma, K., Ito, T., Ogawa, T., & Mano, Y. (2007). N200 latency and P300 amplitude in depressed mood post-traumatic brain injury patients. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 17(6), 723–734.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd.RichmondUSA
  2. 2.Inpatient Rehabilitation UnitNorth Broward Medical CenterDeerfield BeachUSA