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Neurosci Lett. 2016 Mar 23;617:134-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.01.044. Epub 2016 Feb 10.

Effects of simulated interpersonal touch and trait intrinsic motivation on the error-related negativity.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.m.tjew-a-sin@vu.nl.
2
Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Cognitive Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The error-related negativity (ERN or Ne) is a negative event-related brain potential that peaks about 20-100 ms after people perform an incorrect response in choice reaction time tasks. Prior research has shown that the ERN may be enhanced by situational and dispositional factors that promote intrinsic motivation. Building on and extending this work the authors hypothesized that simulated interpersonal touch may increase task engagement and thereby increase ERN amplitude. To test this notion, 20 participants performed a Go/No-Go task while holding a teddy bear or a same-sized cardboard box. As expected, the ERN was significantly larger when participants held a teddy bear rather than a cardboard box. This effect was most pronounced for people high (rather than low) in trait intrinsic motivation, who may depend more on intrinsically motivating task cues to maintain task engagement. These findings highlight the potential benefits of simulated interpersonal touch in stimulating attention to errors, especially among people who are intrinsically motivated.

KEYWORDS:

Action versus state orientation; Error-related negativity; Intrinsic motivation; Persistence; Task engagement; Touch

PMID:
26876476
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2016.01.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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