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Psychophysiology. 2009 Nov;46(6):1288-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00860.x. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Modulation of the error-related negativity by response conflict.

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1
Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Cognitive Neurology Group, Gleueler Stasse 50, Cologne, Germany. c.danielmeier@nf.mpg.de

Abstract

An arrow version of the Eriksen flanker task was employed to investigate the influence of conflict on the error-related negativity (ERN). The degree of conflict was modulated by varying the distance between flankers and the target arrow (CLOSE and FAR conditions). Error rates and reaction time data from a behavioral experiment were used to adapt a connectionist model of this task. This model was based on the conflict monitoring theory and simulated behavioral and event-related potential data. The computational model predicted an increased ERN amplitude in FAR incompatible (the low-conflict condition) compared to CLOSE incompatible errors (the high-conflict condition). A subsequent ERP experiment confirmed the model predictions. The computational model explains this finding with larger post-response conflict in far trials. In addition, data and model predictions of the N2 and the LRP support the conflict interpretation of the ERN.

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