Table 4

Summary of the studies which included P300 component


Study Groups




20 Israeli combat veterans with PTSD

20 without PTSD

Modified target detection visual oddball paradigm, trauma related


neutral stimuli

Accentuated P300 amplitudes to target stimuli in both controls and PTSD patients

Enhanced P300 amplitude in response to non-target combat related pictures in PTSD group

Prolonged P300 latencies and reaction times to target stimuli were prolonged in PTSD subjects

Increased latency in response to trauma-related stimuli in PTSD subjects


20 Israeli veterans with PTSD

20 without PTSD

Modified target detection visual oddball paradigm, trauma related,

unrelated, neutral pictures

Smaller response to non-target images in the control, but equal responses to both target and non-target stimuli in the PTSD group

No group difference for the target stimuli, but larger response to the non-target in the PTSD group.

P300 could correctly classify 90% of PTSD and 90% of non-PTSD subjects.

Increased latency of P300 response to combat-related images in relation with the severity of intrusive symptoms.

This relation was negative between the P300 latency and severity of avoidance.


20 PTSD combat veterans

20 non-PTSD combat veterans

Target detection oddball, traumatic/neutral stimuli

Larger P300 amplitude in the PTSD group

No difference inP300 amplitude between the target and non-target in the PTSD group; higher amplitude in response to the target stimuli in the control group.

Earlier and 5 times greater P300 response to combat related pictures in PTSD patients.

Repeated combat related pictures resulted in a rapid P300 amplitude reduction and latency prolongation. This effect was not observed for the target stimuli.


19 civil PTSD

17 subjects with numerous life events

18 without life events

Auditory oddball

Longer reaction times and lower amplitude P300 response



8 non-PTSD combat veterans

Visual presentation of a sequence of trauma related and unrelated words

Newly identified P300tr component was suppressed to all stimuli in PTSD subjects


34 PTSD [25 male veterans/9 female victims of rape]

18 non-PTSD [10/8 from the same groups]

Auditory three-tone oddball

Smaller P300 response to the target tone. For women group, it was also smaller in response to the distracter tones.


9 PTSD [assault, rape, MVA, combat]

10 healthy controls

Modified stroop paradigm, visual presentation of neutral, positive and negative words

Smaller P300 amplitude to neutral, positive, and negative words in PTSD patients.

Smaller response to neutral words as compared to positive and negative words.


16 medicated PTSD

9 un-medicated PTSD

10 healthy veterans

Auditory three-tone oddball

Significant decrease in P300 at Pz electrode in un-medicated PTSD group compared to the medicated PTSD and healthy subjects.

Subjects with co-morbid panic disorder had the largest P300 amplitudes.


11 survivors of a ship fire with PTSD or near PTSD

9 controls with other psychiatric illnesses from the same ship

Auditory word and non-word oddball

Reduced P300 amplitude to non-words and negative words


25 combat veterans with PTSD/14 without PTSD

Auditory three-tone oddball

Reduced P300 amplitude to the target stimuli.

Significant P300 amplitude enhancements at frontal sites to distracting stimuli during the novelty but not during the three-tone oddball tasks.


10 Vietnam war veterans with PTSD

10 without PTSD

Two oddball tasks of visual trauma-relevant and trauma-irrelevant threat (combat, social-threat, household, and neutral words)

Attenuated P300 response to neutral target stimuli

Increased P300 amplitude in response to trauma-relevant combat stimuli but not to trauma-irrelevant social-threat stimuli at frontal electrode sites.


17 civil PTSD

17 healthy controls

Auditory oddball

Smaller P300 in PTSD, later at Pz


29 PTSD nurse veterans

38 non-PTSD

Three-tone oddball

Larger target P300 amplitudes in PTSD subjects


15 civil PTSD

15 controls

20 angry and 20 neutral faces

Slower P270 in the PTSD at occipital electrodes


25 combat PTSD

15 combat-exposed healthy controls

Three conditioned novelty visual and auditory oddball

No significant differences in P300 amplitude or latency regardless of stimulus type (target, novel) or modality (auditory, visual).


10 civil PTSD

10 controls

Auditory oddball

Same P3a amplitude in both groups, but there was a significant post-treatment attenuation of P3a in the PTSD group.


8 PTSD victims of Tokyo sarin attack

13 healthy controls

Auditory oddball

No difference in P300 latency.

Significantly smaller P300 amplitudes in subjects with PTSD.


33 civil PTSD

33 matched controls

Auditory standard two-tone oddball

Delayed reduced P300 target amplitude, coupled with slower and less accurate target detection


10 male police/veteran PTSD

10 healthy controls

Auditory oddball

Smaller P550;

More false negatives and positives;

The higher the anxiety and depression level, the lower the amplitude;

Reverse relationship between the P550 amplitude and intrusions.



99 Alcohol dependence

16 personality disorder

25 anxiety or mood disorder

Visual presentation of happy, sad, and neutral faces

Longer P300 latency to happy stimuli in midline, central, and right frontal leads;

Reduced P300 amplitude in response to neutral faces.


16 civil PTSD

15 trauma-exposed without PTSD

16 healthy controls

Modified auditory S1-S2 paradigm

Increased P300 and late positive complex amplitudes to trauma-specific questions;

Only the PTSD group showed a differentiation between trauma-specific and neutral questions with respect to P300.


14 PTSD survivors of an air show disaster

15 trauma-exposed subjects without PTSD

15 healthy controls

Visual differential conditioning paradigm with traumatic/neutral pictures

Trauma-exposed subjects with and without PTSD showed successful differential conditioning to the trauma-relevant cue indicative of second-order conditioning


16 civil PTSD

16 schizophrenia

16 control subjects

Auditory oddball

Reduced amplitude of target and non-target P300 responses.

Larger reduction in target P300 amplitude in left posterior parietal leads in PTSD group.


37 combat exposed veterans with PTSD and 47 without PTSD and their twins

Auditory oddball

No difference in P300 amplitude; When assessed the un-medicated nonsmoker group separately, P300 amplitude was smaller in the PTSD group


20 un-medicated and 14 medicated PTSD [mixed etiology]

136 controls

1-back working memory task

Reduced P300 working memory amplitude and delayed target P300 in PTSD.

Amplitude reduction and delay of target P300 in medicated PTSD subjects.

Little difference between the non-medicated PTSD subgroup and the controls.


12 PTSD and 12 control survivors of earthquake

Subliminal visual presentation of earthquake-related/unrelated words

Increased P2 and P3 amplitude in the PTSD group in response to the trauma-related stimuli

Javanbakht et al. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2011 1:5   doi:10.1186/2045-5380-1-5

Open Data