Learning from Errors: Error-Related Neural Activity Predicts Improvements in Future Inhibitory Control Performance

Hester, Robert, Madeley,Janelle, Murphy, Kevin and Mattingley, Jason B. (2009) Learning from Errors: Error-Related Neural Activity Predicts Improvements in Future Inhibitory Control Performance. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29 22: 7158-7165. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4337-08.2009

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Author Hester, Robert
Murphy, Kevin
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Learning from Errors: Error-Related Neural Activity Predicts Improvements in Future Inhibitory Control Performance
Journal name The Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2009-06-03
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4337-08.2009
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 29
Issue 22
Start page 7158
End page 7165
Total pages 8
Editor John H. R. Maunsell
Place of publication United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Subject C1
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract Failure to adapt performance following an error is a debilitating symptom of many neurological and psychiatric conditions. Healthy individuals readily adapt their behavior in response to an error, an ability thought to be subserved by the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC). However, it remains unclear how humans adaptively alter cognitive control behavior when they reencounter situations that were previously failed minutes or days ago. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined neural activity during a Go/No-go response inhibition task that provided the opportunity for participants to learn from their errors. When they failed to inhibit their response, they were shown the same target stimulus during the next No-go trial, which itself could occur up to 20 trials after its initial presentation. Activity within the pMFC was significantly greater for initial errors that were subsequently corrected than for errors that were repeated later in the display sequence. Moreover, pMFC activity during errors predicted future responses despite a sizeable interval (on average 12 trials) between an error and the next No-go stimulus. Our results indicate that changes in cognitive control performance can be predicted using error-related activity. The increased likelihood of adaptive changes occurring during periods of recent success is consistent with models of error-related activity that argue for the influence of outcome expectancy (Holroyd and Coles, 2002; Brown and Braver, 2005). The findings may also help to explain the diminished error-related neural activity in such clinical conditions as schizophrenia, as well as the propensity for perseverative behavior in these clinical groups.
Keyword Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0556602
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 20 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 31 Jul 2009, 19:39:08 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute