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Keywords:

  • Error related negativity (ERN)/error negativity (Ne);
  • Performance feedback;
  • Major depressive disorder

Abstract

Perceived failure is reported to have detrimental effects on subsequent performance in patients with major depressive disorder. We investigated the error-related negativity (ERN)/error negativity (Ne), an electrophysiological correlate of response monitoring, using a 64-channel EEG. Sixteen patients with DSM-IV major depressive disorder and 16 matched controls participated in an Eriksen flanker task with continuous performance feedback that signaled monetary reward. Compared to controls, patients with major depressive disorder showed a less negative ERN/Ne in error trials following error trials. This result might reflect impaired response monitoring processes in major depressive disorder resulting from an underactivity in a central reward pathway and/or a deficit in strategic reasoning.