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Brain Res. 2006 Jul 26;1101(1):92-101. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

Error-related ERP components and individual differences in punishment and reward sensitivity.

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  • 1Experimental and Work Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS Groningen, The Netherlands.


Although the focus of the discussion regarding the significance of the error related negatively (ERN/Ne) has been on the cognitive factors reflected in this component, there is now a growing body of research that describes influences of motivation, affective style and other factors of personality on ERN/Ne amplitude. The present study was conducted to further evaluate the relationship between affective style, error related ERP components and their neural basis. Therefore, we had our subjects fill out the Behavioral Activation System/Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS/BAS) scales, which are based on Gray's (1987, 1989) biopsychological theory of personality. We found that subjects scoring high on the BIS scale displayed larger ERN/Ne amplitudes, while subjects scoring high on the BAS scale displayed larger error positivity (Pe) amplitudes. No correlations were found between BIS and Pe amplitude or between BAS and ERN/Ne amplitude. Results are discussed in terms of individual differences in reward and punishment sensitivity that are reflected in error related ERP components.

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