The aim of this study was to investigate, by measuring the event related potential (ERP) P3 complex, whether the perception of small accelerations differs from that of small decelerations. Participants had to decide whether the last beat of a short sequence was presented ‘too early’ or ‘too late’. Target beats were accelerated or decelerated with 0%, 2%, 5%, or 10%. Individuals differed in their capability to detect small tempo changes. We found that good responders were able to identify all tempo changes whereas poor responders were only able to identify large (10%) tempo changes. In addition, we found that tempo changes affected two subcomponents of the ERP P3 in good performers. Accelerations increased a late-P3 amplitude whereas decelerations increased an early-P3 amplitude. These results imply the principle possibility to measure differential P3 effects within one task. This is important for acquiring more refined knowledge concerning different subcomponents of the ERP P3 complex and the cognitive processes by which they are elicited.
- Event related potentials
- Auditory processing