Neuropsychological tests target specific cognitive functions; however, numerous cognitive subcomponents are involved in each test. The aim of this study was to decompose the components of two frontal executive function tests, Go/NoGo (GNG) and cued continuous performance task (CPT), by analyzing event-related potentials (ERPs) of 24 subjects both in time and time-frequency domains. In the time domain, P1, N1, P2, N2 and P3 peak amplitudes and latencies and mean amplitudes of 100 ms time windows of the post-P3 time period were measured. For GNG, the N1 amplitude and for both GNG and CPT N2 amplitudes were significantly higher in the NoGo condition compared with the Go condition. P3 had a central maximum in the NoGo conditions of both paradigms in contrast to a parietal maximum in the Go conditions. All peaks except P1 and mean amplitudes of the post-P3 period were more positive in CPT compared to those of GNG. N1, N2 and P3 latencies were longer for the NoGo condition than the Go condition in the CPT. In time-frequency analyses, the NoGo condition evoked higher theta coefficients than the Go condition, whereas the CPT and GNG paradigms differed mainly in the delta band. These results suggest that theta component reflects response inhibition in both GNG and CPT, whereas delta component reflects the more demanding sustained attention requirement of the CPT. The latency prolongation observed with the NoGo condition of the CPT paradigm was thought to be due to perseverance/inhibition conflict enhanced by the primer stimuli in CPT. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.