Measurement of P300 and sleep characteristics in patients with hypersomnia: do P300 latencies, P300 amplitudes, and multiple sleep latency and maintenance of wakefulness tests measure different factors?

Clin Electroencephalogr. 1997 Jul;28(3):179-84. doi: 10.1177/155005949702800311.


To explore further the relationship between ease of falling asleep, ability to maintain wakefulness, attention and information processing in sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, we conducted a thorough analysis of the similarities, differences and correlations between auditory and visual P300 amplitudes and latencies, and tests of sleepiness. The 283 consecutive patients presenting with hypersomnia were administered nocturnal polysomnography. Next day they underwent auditory and visual P300 recordings, Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT). Correlation coefficients were calculated between auditory and visual P300 amplitudes and latencies, respiratory disturbance index (RDI), sleep efficiency, % stage 1, and the tests for sleepiness. Factor analysis was performed with data from P300 testing, MSLT and MWT. Auditory P300 amplitude was correlated with sleep efficiency. Auditory P300 latency was correlated with % stage 1, RDI, MSLT and MWT. Visual P300 latency was correlated with % stage 1, sleep efficiency and MWT. MSLT but not MWT was negatively correlated with sleep efficiency. Factor analysis suggests three factors: attention, information processing, and sleepiness. We conclude that P300 latencies and tests of sleepiness (MSLT and MWT) measure different abilities in patients with diagnosable disorders of daytime sleepiness.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / physiopathology*
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcolepsy / diagnosis
  • Narcolepsy / physiopathology*
  • Polysomnography*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*