Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Ralf Greenwald

Second Committee Member

Dr. Heath Marrs

Third Committee Member

Dr. Mary Radeke

Abstract

The current study examined the possible differences in several brainwaves and behavioral reaction times between males and females in relation to task switching. Previous research has shown gender differences in various aspects of cognition including task switching. Task switching refers to the ability to cognitively switch from processing one task to processing another, completely different task. The current study utilized a color-shape target switching paradigm and event-related potentials to analyze possible gender differences. The results of the study showed no gender differences in relation to reaction times, P2 and P3b brainwave latencies or amplitudes. However, the study found a difference in the N2 component between genders. Moreover, the study found differences in the topographic distribution of ERP components which may indicate that gender differences in cognition are not necessarily in strength of neural activation but rather in spatial patterns of activation.

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