Evaluation of Performance Monitoring ERPs Through Difficulty Manipulation in a Response-feedback Paradigm

February 1, 2019
Arnaud Delorme, PhD

Somon, Bertille & Campagne, Aurélie & Delorme, Arnaud & Berberian, Bruno. (2019). Evaluation of performance monitoring ERPs through difficulty manipulation in a response-feedback paradigm. Brain Research. 1704. 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.10.007.


Performance monitoring is an amply studied function, since it is of major importance in carrying out actions in our everyday life. No consensus has been reached on the functional role and the relationship between each event-related potential (ERP) characterizing this function. In this study, we used a modified version of the flanker task, measuring the impact of task difficulty on the amplitudes of response-locked and feedback-locked performance monitoring ERPs in a single trial. We observed a functional differentiation between fronto-central (ERN/CRN and FRN) and centro-parietal (Pe/Pc and P300) components: the former seem to be only sensitive to accuracy, whereas the latter seem to be mainly modulated by task difficulty. The use of a surface Laplacian transformation, estimating current source density, on our data also supported an effect of difficulty on centro-parietal response-locked and feedback-locked ERPs. This technique allowed the spatial resolution to be improved and provided clarity, associated with the difficulty manipulation, on the activity of response-locked and feedback-locked performance monitoring ERPs.

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