Revisiting the relationship between the P3b and working memory updating

Rachel Rac-Lubashevsky, Yoav Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The P3b is an extensively studied neurophysiological phenomenon that is predominantly explained in the cognitive neuroscience literature as reflecting context updating, presumably in working memory (WM). Despite the prevalence and influence of the context updating hypothesis, direct empirical support for the role of WM updating in eliciting the P3b is still missing. The present study was designed to address the empirical gap in understanding the functional role of P3b in general, and specifically in relation to WM updating. A mass-univariate approach was used to test the unique contribution of WM updating, categorization, and stimulus probability to the P3b. The results indicated that the P3b is only modulated by the categorization process, a finding that challenges the WM updating hypothesis. Taken together these results, we suggest that the P3b reflects a WM guided target identification mechanism, which operates as part of a goal-directed learning strategy.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107769
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Categorization
  • Decision-making
  • ERP
  • Learning
  • Model-based
  • P3
  • Top-down
  • Updating
  • Working memory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Revisiting the relationship between the P3b and working memory updating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this