P300 correlates with learning & memory abilities and fluid intelligence

Hafeez Ullah Amin, Aamir Saeed Malik*, Nidal Kamel, Weng Tink Chooi, Muhammad Hussain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Educational psychology research has linked fluid intelligence with learning and memory abilities and neuroimaging studies have specifically associated fluid intelligence with event related potentials (ERPs). The objective of this study is to find the relationship of ERPs with learning and memory recall and predict the memory recall score using P300 (P3) component. Method: A sample of thirty-four healthy subjects between twenty and thirty years of age was selected to perform three tasks: (1) Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) test to assess fluid intelligence; (2) learning and memory task to assess learning ability and memory recall; and (3) the visual oddball task to assess brain-evoked potentials. These subjects were divided into High Ability (HA) and Low Ability (LA) groups based on their RAPM scores. A multiple regression analysis was used to predict the learning & memory recall and fluid intelligence using P3 amplitude and latency. Results: Behavioral results demonstrated that the HA group learned and recalled 10.89 % more information than did the LA group. ERP results clearly showed that the P3 amplitude of the HA group was relatively larger than that observed in the LA group for both the central and parietal regions of the cerebrum; particularly during the 300-400 ms time window. In addition, a shorter latency for the P3 component was observed at Pz site for the HA group compared to the LA group. These findings agree with previous educational psychology and neuroimaging studies which reported an association between ERPs and fluid intelligence as well as learning performance. Conclusion: These results also suggest that the P3 component is associated with individual differences in learning and memory recall and further indicate that P3 amplitude might be used as a supporting factor in standard psychometric tests to assess an individual's learning & memory recall ability; particularly in educational institutions to aid in the predictability of academic skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Pages (from-to)87
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2015


  • Event related potentials (ERPs)
  • Fluid intelligence
  • Learning and memory recall
  • P300


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