Abstract

Because event-related potentials (ERPs) can reflect individual differences in intellectual ability, individual differences in college grade-point average (GPA) may be associated with specific individual ERP waves, such as the P300. However, P300 amplitude is higher in women than in men and varies across the menstrual cycle, factors that could confound the association between GPA and ERPs. In this regard, our objective was to determine whether differences in GPA are reflected in ERPs while standardling for sex and menstrual phase. After participants provided informed consent, we obtained GPAs from 22 right-handed college students (11 male, age range 22 to 26 and 10 female, age range 17 to 24) at a university with high admission and retention standards. We assessed menstrual phase by measuring luteinizing hormone levels across the cycle. We then obtained ERPs for each male participant and ERPs during each phase of the menstrual cycle for each female participant in an object-recognition visual pop-out protocol using Net Station Software (Electrical Geodesics, Inc., Eugene, Oregon) and E-prime Software (Psychology Software Tools, Inc., Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania). Males had larger P300s than females. The male and female high GPA was significantly different from the low GPA male and female groups. High GPA in females and males were associated with a positive peak at approximately 689 ms that was not present in the low-GPA male group and was significantly diminished in low-GPA females. Electro-cortical processing of cognitive stimuli differs between college students with high and low GPAs.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Life Sciences; Neuroscience

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-03-17

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4334

Keywords

Electro-cortical Correlates, Event-related potential, ERP, Grade Point Average, GPA, Late Positive Component, LPC, College Student

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