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On-line executive control: An electromyographic study

Authors

  • Sonia Allain,

    1. Institut de Médecine Navale du Service de Santé des Armées, Toulon, France
    2. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Marseille, France
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  • Laurence Carbonnell,

    1. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, Marseille, France
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  • Boris Burle,

    1. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Marseille, France
    2. University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychonomics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Thierry Hasbroucq,

    1. Institut de Médecine Navale du Service de Santé des Armées, Toulon, France
    2. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Marseille, France
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  • Franck Vidal

    1. Institut de Médecine Navale du Service de Santé des Armées, Toulon, France
    2. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Université de Provence, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition, Marseille, France
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  • This work was supported by the DGA, under contract # 99CO026. We thank Michel Bonnet, Steve Hackley, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and Dominique Reybaud and Bruno Schmid for technical assistance.

Address reprint requests to: Sonia Allain, Institut de Médecine Navale du Service de Santé des Armées, BP 610, 83880 Toulon Naval, France. E-mail: allain@lnf.cnrs-mrs.fr

Abstract

In a choice reaction time (RT) task, electromyographic (EMG) recordings allowed us to fractionate RT into two subcomponents, namely premotor time and motor time. This has been done for correct trials and errors. The analysis of the EMG burst and motor time (between EMG onset and overt response) showed that the EMG burst amplitude was reduced and the motor time was longer for errors than for correct responses. In the same way as posterror slowing on the RT was interpreted as revealing between-trials changes in executive control, the present data provide direct evidence for an on-line, within-trial, executive control.

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