Gender and suppression of mid-latency ERP components during stress


  • We gratefully acknowledge Maria Nazarin, Halle Jones, and Valerie Gilman for assistance with data collection, and Bill Troyer for technical and software support.

Address reprint requests to: Patricia M. White, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, 1227 University Avenue, Eugene, OR 97403-1227, USA. E-mail:


Substantial research evidence suggests that women may be more reactive to stress than men. This study examined the influence of gender and stress on suppression of the P50 and N100 components of the auditory event-related potential. During a stressor task, women (n=13) showed disrupted P50 and N100 suppression whereas men (n=15) exhibited only alterations in N100 suppression. Additionally, reduced skin conductance level during stress correlated with impaired P50 suppression and elevated Click 2 amplitude of the P50 response in women. These data suggest that gender differences in response to perceived stress may be an important factor to consider in studies relying upon the P50 suppression paradigm.