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Event-related potential correlates of performance-monitoring in a lateralized time-estimation task.

Gruendler TO, Ullsperger M, Huster RJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Several event-related brain potentials (ERP) are associated with performance-monitoring, but their conceptual background differs.The N2 is visible in the EEG when the participant successfully inhibits a response following a cue and thereby adapts to a given stop-signal.Other than that, task lateralization affected neither behavior related to error and feedback processing nor ERN or FRN.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany. theo@gruendler.de

ABSTRACT
Performance-monitoring as a key function of cognitive control covers a wide range of diverse processes to enable goal directed behavior and to avoid maladjustments. Several event-related brain potentials (ERP) are associated with performance-monitoring, but their conceptual background differs. For example, the feedback-related negativity (FRN) is associated with unexpected performance feedback and might serve as a teaching signal for adaptational processes, whereas the error-related negativity (ERN) is associated with error commission and subsequent behavioral adaptation. The N2 is visible in the EEG when the participant successfully inhibits a response following a cue and thereby adapts to a given stop-signal. Here, we present an innovative paradigm to concurrently study these different performance-monitoring-related ERPs. In 24 participants a tactile time-estimation task interspersed with infrequent stop-signal trials reliably elicited all three ERPs. Sensory input and motor output were completely lateralized, in order to estimate any hemispheric processing preferences for the different aspects of performance monitoring associated with these ERPs. In accordance with the literature our data suggest augmented inhibitory capabilities in the right hemisphere given that stop-trial performance was significantly better with left- as compared to right-hand stop-signals. In line with this, the N2 scalp distribution was generally shifted to the right in addition to an ipsilateral shift in relation to the response hand. Other than that, task lateralization affected neither behavior related to error and feedback processing nor ERN or FRN. Comparing the ERP topographies using the Global Map Dissimilarity index, a large topographic overlap was found between all considered components.With an evenly distributed set of trials and a split-half reliability for all ERP components ≥.85 the task is well suited to efficiently study N2, ERN, and FRN concurrently which might prove useful for group comparisons, especially in clinical populations.

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Time-estimation task with interspersed stop-signal trials.The tactile time-estimation task included three conditions (control, easy, hard) with different response-window adaptations leading to different error-rates (see text for details). In the randomly assigned stop-signal trials prior to response execution a stop-signal indicated the need to inhibit the response. Hand symbols from ITT Bombay (www.designofsignage.com).
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pone-0025591-g001: Time-estimation task with interspersed stop-signal trials.The tactile time-estimation task included three conditions (control, easy, hard) with different response-window adaptations leading to different error-rates (see text for details). In the randomly assigned stop-signal trials prior to response execution a stop-signal indicated the need to inhibit the response. Hand symbols from ITT Bombay (www.designofsignage.com).

Mentions: A task similar to that proposed by Miltner et al. [5] and Holroyd et al. [8], [26] was employed in which participants were required to press a button after they felt one second had elapsed (set up in Presentation v10.3, Neurobehavioral Systems Inc., Albany, U.S.A.). Participants were comfortably seated in a chair placed in a sound attenuated and shielded room. Tactile stimuli were applied by means of a device that translates air pressure, transferred via plastic tubes and acting at a membrane, to tactile stimulations. This stimulation device has already successfully been applied in different studies (e.g. [43]. Clamps hold the membranes attached to a subject's fingertip. Here, these clamps and membranes were used to stimulate the index, middle and ring fingers of the left and the right hands. The strength of the stimulation was adapted as to cause clearly suprathreshold but not painful sensations. Each trial commenced with a tactile cue to the index finger that lasted for 50 ms indicating the beginning of the estimation period. When participants believed that one second had elapsed they were instructed to register this by pressing a button with the index finger. Participants received feedback indicating the accuracy of their estimation 600 ms following the response. A response was considered on time if it occurred within an adaptive response time window (RTW) centered around 1000 ms (see below), and was considered not on time otherwise. Feedback stimuli consisted of tactile cues applied to the middle- or ring finger of either the left or the right hand for a given block of trials. The offset of the feedback was followed by a resting period with a variable duration ranging from 200 to 900 ms (see Figure 1). One block consisted of 30 consecutive trials during which responses were to be given with the very same hand that also received the tactile stimuli. The mapping of positive or negative feedback to the middle or ring finger was counterbalanced across subjects.


Event-related potential correlates of performance-monitoring in a lateralized time-estimation task.

Gruendler TO, Ullsperger M, Huster RJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Time-estimation task with interspersed stop-signal trials.The tactile time-estimation task included three conditions (control, easy, hard) with different response-window adaptations leading to different error-rates (see text for details). In the randomly assigned stop-signal trials prior to response execution a stop-signal indicated the need to inhibit the response. Hand symbols from ITT Bombay (www.designofsignage.com).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3198451&req=5

pone-0025591-g001: Time-estimation task with interspersed stop-signal trials.The tactile time-estimation task included three conditions (control, easy, hard) with different response-window adaptations leading to different error-rates (see text for details). In the randomly assigned stop-signal trials prior to response execution a stop-signal indicated the need to inhibit the response. Hand symbols from ITT Bombay (www.designofsignage.com).
Mentions: A task similar to that proposed by Miltner et al. [5] and Holroyd et al. [8], [26] was employed in which participants were required to press a button after they felt one second had elapsed (set up in Presentation v10.3, Neurobehavioral Systems Inc., Albany, U.S.A.). Participants were comfortably seated in a chair placed in a sound attenuated and shielded room. Tactile stimuli were applied by means of a device that translates air pressure, transferred via plastic tubes and acting at a membrane, to tactile stimulations. This stimulation device has already successfully been applied in different studies (e.g. [43]. Clamps hold the membranes attached to a subject's fingertip. Here, these clamps and membranes were used to stimulate the index, middle and ring fingers of the left and the right hands. The strength of the stimulation was adapted as to cause clearly suprathreshold but not painful sensations. Each trial commenced with a tactile cue to the index finger that lasted for 50 ms indicating the beginning of the estimation period. When participants believed that one second had elapsed they were instructed to register this by pressing a button with the index finger. Participants received feedback indicating the accuracy of their estimation 600 ms following the response. A response was considered on time if it occurred within an adaptive response time window (RTW) centered around 1000 ms (see below), and was considered not on time otherwise. Feedback stimuli consisted of tactile cues applied to the middle- or ring finger of either the left or the right hand for a given block of trials. The offset of the feedback was followed by a resting period with a variable duration ranging from 200 to 900 ms (see Figure 1). One block consisted of 30 consecutive trials during which responses were to be given with the very same hand that also received the tactile stimuli. The mapping of positive or negative feedback to the middle or ring finger was counterbalanced across subjects.

Bottom Line: Several event-related brain potentials (ERP) are associated with performance-monitoring, but their conceptual background differs.The N2 is visible in the EEG when the participant successfully inhibits a response following a cue and thereby adapts to a given stop-signal.Other than that, task lateralization affected neither behavior related to error and feedback processing nor ERN or FRN.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany. theo@gruendler.de

ABSTRACT
Performance-monitoring as a key function of cognitive control covers a wide range of diverse processes to enable goal directed behavior and to avoid maladjustments. Several event-related brain potentials (ERP) are associated with performance-monitoring, but their conceptual background differs. For example, the feedback-related negativity (FRN) is associated with unexpected performance feedback and might serve as a teaching signal for adaptational processes, whereas the error-related negativity (ERN) is associated with error commission and subsequent behavioral adaptation. The N2 is visible in the EEG when the participant successfully inhibits a response following a cue and thereby adapts to a given stop-signal. Here, we present an innovative paradigm to concurrently study these different performance-monitoring-related ERPs. In 24 participants a tactile time-estimation task interspersed with infrequent stop-signal trials reliably elicited all three ERPs. Sensory input and motor output were completely lateralized, in order to estimate any hemispheric processing preferences for the different aspects of performance monitoring associated with these ERPs. In accordance with the literature our data suggest augmented inhibitory capabilities in the right hemisphere given that stop-trial performance was significantly better with left- as compared to right-hand stop-signals. In line with this, the N2 scalp distribution was generally shifted to the right in addition to an ipsilateral shift in relation to the response hand. Other than that, task lateralization affected neither behavior related to error and feedback processing nor ERN or FRN. Comparing the ERP topographies using the Global Map Dissimilarity index, a large topographic overlap was found between all considered components.With an evenly distributed set of trials and a split-half reliability for all ERP components ≥.85 the task is well suited to efficiently study N2, ERN, and FRN concurrently which might prove useful for group comparisons, especially in clinical populations.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus