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The effects of social exclusion on the ERN and the cognitive control of action monitoring


  • This research is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant number BCS #1147743 to Jason Themanson and grant number MRI #0722526 to Illinois Wesleyan University (PI: Joseph Williams) and a grant from Illinois Wesleyan University to Jason Themanson.


The current study investigated the influence of social exclusion, created through the Cyberball paradigm, on cognitive control using neural and behavioral measures of action monitoring. Healthy young adults performed a modified flanker task while their post-error behavior (accuracy, RT) and error-related negativity (ERN) were assessed. Results indicated that excluded participants showed decreased ERN and post-error response accuracy compared to included participants following their social interactions. These findings suggest that a common neural framework may exist for cognitive control processes and that cognitive control allocated toward exclusion-related processing following exclusionary social interactions may disrupt the capability to support self-regulatory action monitoring.