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The effect of interpersonal competition on monitoring internal and external error feedback


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The present study examined the effect of the social context on early emotional appraisal of performance errors and negative feedback reflected by the error-related negativity (ERN), feedback-related negativity (FRN), and P300. Participants performed a probabilistic learning task in which they received valid and invalid performance feedback. During one half of the task they were led to believe that they were competing online against another participant. As expected, the ERN following response errors was enhanced in the competition compared to the neutral condition. The FRN was more negative following negative compared to positive feedback and valid compared to invalid feedback, but only during competition. The P300 was larger to false positive than false negative feedback, which was independent of the social context. In conclusion, ERN and FRN, but not P300, may be sensitive to affective distress elicited by expectation violations during social interaction.

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