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Error detection in patients with lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex: an ERP study.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuropsychologia
0028-3932
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
42
Issue
1
Pages
118–130
Identifiers
PMID: 14615082
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

When people detect their own errors in a discrimination task, a negative-going waveform can be observed in scalp-recorded EEG that has been coined the error-related negativity (Ne/ERN). Generation of the Ne/ERN has been associated with structures in the prefrontal cortex, especially the anterior cingulate region, but also the supplementary motor cortex and subcortical structures. There is some controversy as to whether the Ne/ERN is a necessary concomitant to error detection. We examined the Ne/ERN in five patients with damage to the medial prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate region. Our findings support the implication of the rostral anterior cingulate in Ne/ERN production, but they also show that subjects can be aware of errors and yet not produce an Ne/ERN. Thus, error detection leads to the Ne/ERN process and damage to the anterior cingulate region may interrupt this relay, suggesting that error detection may be supported by circuits outside the anterior cingulate region.

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