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Keywords:

  • P300;
  • Movement-related potentials;
  • Sequential effects;
  • ICA;
  • Source localization

P300 amplitude and reaction time (RT) are strongly affected by the sequence of events preceding the eliciting stimulus. Sommer, Leuthold and Soetens (1999) found that robust sequential effects in P300 amplitude could be dissociated from more variable sequential effects in RTs. However, global changes in P300 amplitude and topography gave rise to the suggestion that sequential effects are specific for a subcomponent of P300 that is separate from and anterior to the classical parietal P300. Here, confirming evidence for dissociable subcomponents of P300 is reported from two experiments. Independent component analysis separated a centrally distributed sequence-sensitive subcomponent from a more parietal subcomponent. Subsequent dipole source analysis indicated a deep mesial source for the sequence-sensitive subcomponent. Overlap with reafferent somatosensory activity appears to be responsible for an apparent lateralization of this component towards the hemisphere ipsilateral to the responding hand.