Error negativity on correct trials: A reexamination of available data

  • Vidal F
  • Burle B
  • Bonnet M
 et al. 
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Abstract

The error negativity, an EEG wave observed when subjects commit an error in a choice reaction time (RT) task, is often considered as a sign of error detection. Recently, reports of Ne-like waves on correct responses did challenge this interpretation. It has been proposed, however, that these Ne-like waves result either from an artifactual contamination of response-locked activities by stimulus-locked ones, or from an implicit monitoring of the time elapsing during the RT. Our aim was to reprocess published data: (1) to compare the shape and amplitude of EMG-locked and stimulus-locked ERPs on correct trials, and (2) to compare the size of the EMG-locked Ne-like waves obtained on fast and slow trials. The results neither support the artifact hypothesis nor the RT monitoring one. Therefore, it seems that the Ne-like waves observed on correct trials do correspond to a Ne, which suggests that the Ne has a broader significance than just error detection. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Correct responses
  • ERN
  • Errors
  • Laplacian
  • Ne

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