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Neuroimage. 2010 May 15;51(1):391-403. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Rostral Cingulate Zone and correct response monitoring: ICA and source localization evidences for the unicity of correct- and error-negativities.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Marseille, France.


Falkenstein et al. (1991) first described a negative wave occurring just after an erroneous response in choice Reaction time tasks ("Error Negativity"-Ne or "Error Related Negativity"-ERN). Thanks to Laplacian transform of the data, Vidal et al. (2000, 2003a) described a wave on correct trials with similar topography and latency, although of smaller amplitude compared to the errors. A critical question is whether the Ne observed on errors and the negativity reported on correct trials reflect the same (modulated) activity, or whether they reflect completely different mechanisms. These two alternative possibilities were tested thanks to Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and source localization. ICA results showed that the waves recorded on errors and correct trials can be accounted for by the same independent component, corresponding to a dipolar source located within the Rostral Cingulate Zone. Source localization on the raw data also confirmed a common generator for correct and error trials. These data suggest that the waves on errors and correct trials reflect the same brain activity, whose amplitude varies as a function of the correctness of the response. The implications of this result for cognitive control are discussed.

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