Reduced P3 amplitudes are associated with both a family history of alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Dec;18(8):1307-21. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(94)90095-7.


1. Previous research has demonstrated that the amplitude of the P3 component of the event-related electroencephalographic potential (ERP) is influenced by the presence/absence of a family history of alcoholism (FHA). The present study extended this line of research by examining the P3 effects of both FHA and antisocial personality disorder (ASP) in a 2 x 2 factorial design. 2. The task required subjects to judge the orientation of an infrequently-occurring outline drawing, representing an aerial view of a human head. 3. Analyses of P3 amplitudes elicited by this drawing revealed reductions attributable to the effects of both FHA and ASP, but not their interaction. These effects were most apparent at frontal electrode sites. Analyses of P3 latency revealed no consistent pattern of findings. However, the interval between P3 and manual reaction time was shorter in the ASP+ group relative to the ASP-group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Family*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reaction Time / physiology