P2 enhancement from auditory discrimination training is associated with improved reaction times

Yunxia Tong, Robert D. Melara, Aparna Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of training in a pure tone discrimination task on relations between behavioral performance and the magnitude of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants performed both passive (listening) and active (detecting) oddball tasks in a pretest and two posttests (1 and 9 weeks after training). Training produced a long-term benefit in both perceptual sensitivity and reaction times (RT). Training enhanced the amplitude of the P2 ERP component to both standards and deviants at both early and delayed posttests. Importantly, P2 enhancement was strongly associated with discrimination RT, suggesting that experience facilitates rapid, preattentive access to perceptual representations. Training also elevated the mismatch negativity, possibly due to the strengthening of acoustic traces. Finally, training enhanced the amplitude of the P3 component to deviants across posttests, indicating a long-lasting effect of discrimination training on stimulus salience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Oct 22 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank all three anonymous reviewers who provided excellent suggestions to improve this manuscript. This work was completed when all three authors were associated with Purdue University. Portions of this work were presented at the 12th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in 2005. The third author gratefully acknowledges financial support received from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


  • Auditory
  • Discrimination training
  • ERPs
  • MMN
  • Oddball task
  • P2
  • P3
  • Reaction times


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