Auditory Sensory Gating and the Big Five Personality Factors

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five factor model, personality, P50, sensory gating, conscientiousness


Sensory gating allows an individual to filter out irrelevant sensory information from the environment, potentially freeing attentional resources for more complex tasks. Some work has demonstrated a relationship between auditory sensory gating and cognitive skills such as executive function, although the functional significance is not well understood. The relationship between sensory gating and personality dimensions has not been adequately explored. Participants completed a paired-tone sensory gating event-related potential (ERP) paradigm and the Big Five Inventory to assess personality characteristics. Participants with more robust P50 sensory gating reported a significantly greater degree of conscientiousness; conscientiousness (but not the other Big Five factors) predicted sensory gating ability. Longer ERP latencies were associated with participants being more conscientious (P50 component), more agreeable, and less neurotic (N100 component). A better understanding of the behavioral correlates of sensory gating will help elucidate the functional consequences of reduced sensory gating both in typical adults and clinical groups.

Recommended Citation

Yadon, Carly A., and Timothy K. Daugherty. "Auditory Sensory Gating and the Big Five Personality Factors." Journal of Psychophysiology (2018).

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