Abstract

Event-related potentials (ERPs) of younger and older subjects were compared in a simple reaction time (SRT) and in two GoNogo (20% and 80% target probability) tasks. At the T5 location, the NA component (the difference between the ERPs elicited by the frequent stimuli in the GoNogo tasks on the one hand, and the ERPs in the SRT task on the other hand) emerged earlier in the younger group. The N2b was larger in the younger group, and in this group the rare stimuli of the 80% GoNogo task elicited an enlarged N2. When compared to the older group, the stimulus probability in the younger group had a larger effect on the amplitude of the late positivity. The results show age-related changes at an early stage of the information processing activity, and larger sensitivity of the orienting system in the younger subjects.