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Coupling electrophysiological and hemodynamic responses to errors



Performance errors are associated with distinct electrophysiological and hemodynamic signatures: a fronto-central error-related negativity (ERN) is seen in the event-related potentials and a network of activations including medio-frontal, parietal, and insular cortex is revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to characterize the relationship between the electrophysiological and hemodynamic responses to errors. Participants performed a modified Flanker task. When analyzed independently, we found the ERN and hemodynamic activations in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and inferior parietal lobule. fMRI-informed dipole modeling and joint independent component analysis (ICA) were used to couple electrophysiological and hemodynamic data. Both techniques revealed a temporal evolution of the areas found in the fMRI analysis, with the right hemisphere activations peaking before the left hemisphere. However, joint ICA added information, revealing a number of cortical and subcortical areas that had not been shown with parametric mapping. This technique also uncovered how these areas evolve over time. All together, these analyses provide a more detailed picture of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the processing of performance errors. Hum Brain Mapp 33:1621–1633, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.