Alterations in error-related brain activity and post-error behavior over time

Jason R. Themanson, Peter J. Rosen, Matthew B. Pontifex, Charles H. Hillman, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the relation between the error-related negativity (ERN) and post-error behavior over time in healthy young adults (N= 61). Event-related brain potentials were collected during two sessions of an identical flanker task. Results indicated changes in ERN and post-error accuracy were related across task sessions, with more negative ERN associated with greater improvements in post-error accuracy. This relationship was independent of any cross-sectional relationships between overall task performance, individual difference factors, including personality and self-efficacy, and indices of self-regulatory action monitoring. These results indicate that the relation between ERN and post-error accuracy remains intact and consistent regardless of variation in this set of individual difference factors previously associated with both of these indices of self-regulatory action monitoring, providing support for the strength, robustness, and persistence of this relationship in the process of adaptively controlling behavior to enhance task performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Action monitoring
  • Error-related negativity (ERN)
  • Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
  • Post-error behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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