Effects of white noise duration on somatosensory event-related potentials

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Exposure to auditory white noise has been shown to facilitate cognitive function. This phenomenon is called stochastic resonance. The present study examined the effects of white noise duration on behavioral data [reaction time (RT), the SD of RT, and error rates] and the N140 and P300 components of event-related potentials in somatosensory Go/No-go paradigms. A Go or No-go stimulus was presented to the second or fifth digit of the left hand, respectively, at the same probability. Before recording event-related potentials, participants heard three different white noise durations (1, 3, and 5-min conditions), and performed somatosensory Go/No-go paradigms while listening to white noise. RT was significantly shorter under the 5 and 3-min conditions than under the 1-min condition, whereas SD of RT and error rates remained unchanged. The peak latency of Go-P300 was the shortest under the 5-min condition. White noise did not affect the peak latency of N140 or the peak amplitude of N140 or P300. Our results suggest that 5-min white noise exposure accelerated RT and the latency of Go-P300, reflecting changes in the neural activation of response execution processing.

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