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Psychol Sci. 2003 Jan;14(1):47-53.

Electrophysiological responses to errors and feedback in the process of action regulation.

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Electrical Geodesics, Inc., Eugene, Oregon 97403, USA.


The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is believed to be involved in the executive control of actions, such as in monitoring conflicting response demands, detecting errors, and evaluating the emotional significance of events. In this study, participants performed a task in which evaluative feedback was delayed, so that it was irrelevant to immediate response control but retained its emotional value as a performance indicator. We found that a medial frontal feedback-related negativity similar to the error-related negativity (ERN) tracked affective response to the feedback and predicted subsequent performance. Source analysis of the feedback-related negativity and ERN revealed a common dorsomedial ACC source and a rostromedial ACC source specific to the ERN. The oscillatory nature of these sources provides further evidence that the ERN reflects ongoing theta activity generated in the mediofrontal regions. These results suggest that action regulation by the cingulate gyrus may require the entrainment of multiple structures of the Papez corticolimbic circuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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