Why the P600 is not just a P300: the role of the basal ganglia

Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Feb;114(2):336-40. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(02)00366-8.


One of the important issues in event-related brain potential research is whether the language-related P600 and the P300 oddball effect are distinct components or not. We addressed this question by testing 14 aphasic patients, half of them with lesions including the basal ganglia and half of them with temporo-parietal lesions, in both an auditory oddball task and an experiment with auditory presented verb inflection violations. Whereas both patient groups displayed a clear P300 effect in the oddball experiment, only the group with temporo-parietal lesions showed a P600 in the language experiment. These data indicate that the basal ganglia seem to play a crucial role in the modulation of the P600, but not of the P300 component.

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / physiopathology*
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Speech Perception / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology