The P3 component of the ERP reflects conscious perception, not confidence

Moti Salti*, Yair Bar-Haim, Dominique Lamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Consistent with numerous electrophysiological studies, we recently reported that conscious perception is associated with a widely distributed modulation of the P3 component (Lamy, Salti, & Bar-Haim, 2009). We also showed that correct objective performance in the absence of subjective awareness is associated with a spatially more restricted modulation of the P3. The relatively late occurrence of the P3 along with lack of control for post-perceptual processes suggests that this component might reflect processes related to stimulus evaluation or confidence rather than to visual awareness or objective performance. The main aim of the current study was to test this hypothesis. While EEG was recorded, participants performed a forced-choice localization task and reported their subjective perception of the target on a 3-level scale that also indexed their confidence. The results showed that our previous findings are replicated when confidence is controlled for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Confidence
  • ERPs
  • Evoked potentials
  • NCC
  • P3
  • Unconscious processing
  • Visual-awareness


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