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Nat Neurosci. 2000 May;3(5):516-20.

Prefrontal-cingulate interactions in action monitoring.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 525 East University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1109, USA.


We found that medial frontal cortex activity associated with action monitoring (detecting errors and behavioral conflict) depended on activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex. We recorded the error-related negativity (ERN), an event-related brain potential proposed to reflect anterior cingulate action monitoring, from individuals with lateral prefrontal damage or age-matched or young control participants. In controls, error trials generated greater ERN activity than correct trials. In individuals with lateral prefrontal damage, however, correct-trial ERN activity was equal to error-trial ERN activity. Lateral prefrontal damage also affected corrective behavior. Thus the lateral prefrontal cortex seemed to interact with the anterior cingulate cortex in monitoring behavior and in guiding compensatory systems.

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