An electrophysiological signal that precisely tracks the emergence of error awareness

Murphy, Peter R., Robertson, Ian H., Allen, Darren, Hester, Robert and O'Connell, Redmond G. (2012) An electrophysiological signal that precisely tracks the emergence of error awareness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6 MARCH 2012: . doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00065

Author Murphy, Peter R.
Robertson, Ian H.
Allen, Darren
Hester, Robert
O'Connell, Redmond G.
Title An electrophysiological signal that precisely tracks the emergence of error awareness
Journal name Frontiers in Human Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1662-5161
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00065
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue MARCH 2012
Total pages 16
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
Subject 2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
2808 Neurology
2803 Biological Psychiatry
2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
3206 Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Abstract Recent electrophysiological research has sought to elucidate the neural mechanisms necessary for the conscious awareness of action errors. Much of this work has focused on the error positivity (Pe), a neural signal that is specifically elicited by errors that have been consciously perceived. While awareness appears to be an essential prerequisite for eliciting the Pe, the precise functional role of this component has not been identified. Twenty-nine participants performed a novel variant of the Go/No-go Error Awareness Task (EAT) in which awareness of commission errors was indicated via a separate speeded manual response. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to isolate the Pe from other stimulus- and response-evoked signals. Single-trial analysis revealed that Pe peak latency was highly correlated with the latency at which awareness was indicated. Furthermore, the Pe was more closely related to the timing of awareness than it was to the initial erroneous response. This finding was confirmed in a separate study which derived IC weights from a control condition in which no indication of awareness was required, thus ruling out motor confounds. A receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that the Pe could reliably predict whether an error would be consciously perceived up to 400 ms before the average awareness response. Finally, Pe latency and amplitude were found to be significantly correlated with overall error awareness levels between subjects. Our data show for the first time that the temporal dynamics of the Pe trace the emergence of error awareness. These findings have important implications for interpreting the results of clinical EEG studies of error processing.
Keyword Eeg
Error awareness
Error positivity
Error processing
Performance monitoring
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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