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Erroneous and correct actions have a different affective valence: evidence from ERPs

Kristien Aarts (UGent) , Jan De Houwer (UGent) and Gilles Pourtois (UGent)
(2013) EMOTION. 13(5). p.960-973
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The integrative neuroscience of behavioral control (Neuroscience)
Abstract
The accuracy of actions is swiftly determined through specific monitoring brain systems. Event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that error commission is associated with the generation of the error-related negativity (ERN/Ne), whereas correct actions are associated with the correct-related negativity (CRN). Although the exact functional meaning of the ERN/Ne (and CRN) component remains debated, some authors have suggested that it reflects the processing of the emotional significance of actions. However, no study to date has directly linked amplitude changes at the level of the ERN/Ne-CRN to the affective processing of actions. To decode the emotional valence of actions performed during a go/no-go task, the authors used an evaluative priming method in this study. After each action following the go/no-go stimulus, participants had to categorize an evaluative word as either positive or negative. Behavioral results showed that response errors (i.e., false alarms, FAs) performed during the go/no-go task led to a faster categorization of negative than positive words. Remarkably, this evaluative priming effect was related to the magnitude of the ERN/Ne component generated during the go/no-go task. Moreover, ERP results showed that the processing of evaluative words following FAs was influenced early on after word onset (early posterior negativity-EPN effect), while it was influenced later following correct as well as incorrect actions (late positive potential-LPP effect). Altogether, these ERP results suggest that the action-related ERN-CRN component encodes the perceived emotional significance of actions, such that early stages of evaluative word processing following these actions are influenced by this automatic process.
Keywords
ERROR-RELATED NEGATIVITY, OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER, EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS, ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX, BRAIN ACTIVITY, COGNITIVE CONTROL, TIME-COURSE, FUNCTIONAL-SIGNIFICANCE, AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION, RESPONSE ERRORS, action-monitoring, emotional valence, event-related potentials, evaluative priming, word-processing

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Aarts, Kristien, Jan De Houwer, and Gilles Pourtois. 2013. “Erroneous and Correct Actions Have a Different Affective Valence: Evidence from ERPs.” Emotion 13 (5): 960–973.
APA
Aarts, K., De Houwer, J., & Pourtois, G. (2013). Erroneous and correct actions have a different affective valence: evidence from ERPs. EMOTION, 13(5), 960–973.
Vancouver
1.
Aarts K, De Houwer J, Pourtois G. Erroneous and correct actions have a different affective valence: evidence from ERPs. EMOTION. 2013;13(5):960–73.
MLA
Aarts, Kristien, Jan De Houwer, and Gilles Pourtois. “Erroneous and Correct Actions Have a Different Affective Valence: Evidence from ERPs.” EMOTION 13.5 (2013): 960–973. Print.
@article{3182981,
  abstract     = {The accuracy of actions is swiftly determined through specific monitoring brain systems. Event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that error commission is associated with the generation of the error-related negativity (ERN/Ne), whereas correct actions are associated with the correct-related negativity (CRN). Although the exact functional meaning of the ERN/Ne (and CRN) component remains debated, some authors have suggested that it reflects the processing of the emotional significance of actions. However, no study to date has directly linked amplitude changes at the level of the ERN/Ne-CRN to the affective processing of actions. To decode the emotional valence of actions performed during a go/no-go task, the authors used an evaluative priming method in this study. After each action following the go/no-go stimulus, participants had to categorize an evaluative word as either positive or negative. Behavioral results showed that response errors (i.e., false alarms, FAs) performed during the go/no-go task led to a faster categorization of negative than positive words. Remarkably, this evaluative priming effect was related to the magnitude of the ERN/Ne component generated during the go/no-go task. Moreover, ERP results showed that the processing of evaluative words following FAs was influenced early on after word onset (early posterior negativity-EPN effect), while it was influenced later following correct as well as incorrect actions (late positive potential-LPP effect). Altogether, these ERP results suggest that the action-related ERN-CRN component encodes the perceived emotional significance of actions, such that early stages of evaluative word processing following these actions are influenced by this automatic process.},
  author       = {Aarts, Kristien and De Houwer, Jan and Pourtois, Gilles},
  issn         = {1528-3542},
  journal      = {EMOTION},
  keyword      = {ERROR-RELATED NEGATIVITY,OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER,EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS,ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX,BRAIN ACTIVITY,COGNITIVE CONTROL,TIME-COURSE,FUNCTIONAL-SIGNIFICANCE,AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION,RESPONSE ERRORS,action-monitoring,emotional valence,event-related potentials,evaluative priming,word-processing},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {960--973},
  title        = {Erroneous and correct actions have a different affective valence: evidence from ERPs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032808},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2013},
}

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