A review of the evidence for P2 being an independent component process: age, sleep and modality

Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Apr;115(4):732-44. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2003.11.021.


This article reviews the event-related potential (ERP) literature in relation to the P2 waveform of the human auditory evoked potential. Within the auditory evoked potential, a positive deflection at approximately 150-250 ms is a ubiquitous feature. Unlike other cognitive components such as N1 or the P300, remarkably little has been done to investigate the underlying neurological correlates or significance of this waveform. Indeed until recently, many researchers considered it to be an intrinsic part of the 'vertex potential' complex, involving it and the earlier N1. This review seeks to describe the evidence supportive of P2 being the result of independent processes and highlights several features, such as its persistence from wakefulness into sleep, the general consensus that unlike most other EEG phenomena it increases with age, and the fact that it can be generated using respiratory stimuli.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Child
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Sleep / physiology*