Theta and delta band activity explain N2 and P3 ERP component activity in a go/no-go task

Jeremy Harper, Stephen M. Malone, Edward M. Bernat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Objectives: Recent work indicates that the feedback negativity and P3 components from gambling feedback tasks can be understood as mixtures of functionally distinct processes occurring separately in theta and delta frequency bands. The current study was conducted to assess whether dissociable processes occurring in the theta and delta bands would similarly account for activity underlying N2 and P3 components in a go/no-go task. Methods: The current study measured EEG signals from 66 participants during a go/no-go task, and a time-frequency principal components analysis decomposition approach was used to extract theta and delta measures from condition averages. Results: Theta and delta measures separately increased in relation to response inhibition, and were uniquely related to the N2 and P3 components, as predicted. Conclusions: Findings support the view that the theta and delta measures indexed separable processes related to response inhibition, and better indexed the processes underlying N2 and P3 components in this go/no-go task. Significance: Theta and delta measures may index separable functional processes across other common ERP tasks, and may represent an improved target for research relative to standard time-domain components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH080239 (PI: Bernat).


  • Delta
  • EEG
  • Response inhibition
  • Theta
  • Time-frequency

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