Supporting the link between the locus coeruleus – norepinephrine system, the P300, and the attentional blink




Warren, Christopher M.

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This paper provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the locus coeruleus – norephinephrine (LC-NE) system is the neurophysiological basis of both the attentional blink (AB) and the event related potential (ERP) component known as the P300. The LC-NE system is thought to provide a brief burst of processing facilitation in response to motivationally salient events. The AB refers to decreased accuracy for reporting the second of two targets (T1 and T2) inserted into a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). The LC-NE account of the AB holds that the AB is the result of a refractory-like period in LC-NE activity. The LC-NE account of the P300 suggests the P300 is the electrophysiological manifestation of the activity of the LC-NE system. I support the three-way link between these different aspects of brain activity by predicting differences in the AB dependent on characteristics of the P300 in response to T1 (T1-P300).



Locus Coeruleus, P300, Attentional Blink, Norepinephrine