Phasic alertness in a cued double-choice reaction time task: A Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) study

Caterina Pauletti, Daniela Mannarelli, Antonello Grippo, Antonio Currà, Nicoletta Locuratolo, Maria C. De Lucia, Francesco Fattapposta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A phasic change in alertness is produced every time that a warning stimulus precedes a target, and it enhances and maintains the response readiness to an impending stimulus. In the present study, we investigated the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) phenomenon, as index of phasic alertness, during a S1-S2 paradigm in which the imperative stimulus was represented by a double-choice reaction time task, designed to increase the executive requests at S2. Subjects performed the task at three consecutive time points in order to explore the CNV activity over time. The repetition of a cued double-choice reaction time task reduced the reaction times (RTs), while CNV amplitude remained steady along the sessions. Our data suggest that the continuous recruitment of attentional resources does not undergo habituation when it is related to the brain activity required in the maintenance of working memory when the mental model of the stimulus environment is updated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2014



  • Alertness
  • CNV
  • ERPs
  • Reaction time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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