We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Alexandra Amen, Jessica Dodd, Stephanie Fineman, and Lorna Quandt in contributing to data collection.
Alpha power is influenced by performance errors
Version of Record online: 21 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 336–343, March 2009
How to Cite
Carp, J. and Compton, R. J. (2009), Alpha power is influenced by performance errors. Psychophysiology, 46: 336–343. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2008.00773.x
- Issue online: 11 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 21 JAN 2009
- (Received May 8, 2008; Accepted June 18, 2008)
- EEG/ERP<Measures Used;
- Normal Volunteers<Groups Studied
Error commission evokes changes in event-related potentials, autonomic nervous system activity, and behavior, presumably reflecting the operation of a cognitive control network. Here we test the hypothesis that errors lead to increased cortical arousal, measurable as changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha band power. Participants performed a Stroop task while EEG was recorded. Following correct responses, alpha power increased and then decreased in a quadratic pattern, implying transient mental disengagement during the intertrial interval. This trend was absent following errors, which elicited significantly less alpha power than correct trials. Moreover, post-error alpha power was a better predictor of individual differences in post-error slowing than the error-related negativity (ERN), whereas the ERN was a better predictor of post-error accuracy than alpha power. These findings imply that changes in cortical arousal play a unique role in modulating post-error behavior.