Longitudinal stability and predictive utility of the visual P3 response in adults with externalizing psychopathology

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14 Scopus citations


We determined whether time-domain P3 amplitude and time-frequency principal component (TF-PC) reductions could serve as stable and predictive developmental endophenotypes of externalizing psychopathology. Participants from the Minnesota Twin Family Study were assessed at age 17 and again at age 29 for lifetime externalizing (EXT) disorders. Comparisons of P3 amplitude and TF-PCs at delta and theta frequencies were made between EXT and unaffected comparison subjects. P3 amplitude and all five extracted TF-PCs were significantly reduced in those presenting lifetime EXT disorders at both ages 17 and 29 and showed substantial 12-year rank-order stability. P3 amplitude and delta TF-PCs measured at age 17 also predicted subsequent development of EXT by age 29, with every 1-microvolt decrease in age 17 amplitude associated with an approximately 5% increase in risk for an EXT diagnosis by age 29. Overall, results from this study further confirm that these P3-derived brain measures maintain their potential as putative EXT endophenotypes through the third decade of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1632-1645
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.


  • Developmental endophenotype
  • Externalizing disorders
  • Longitudinal
  • P3 amplitude
  • Substance dependence
  • Time-frequency principal components


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