Distinct Frontal Networks Are Involved in Adapting to Internally and Externally Signaled Errors

T.E. Ham, X. de Boissezon, A. Leff, Christian Beckmann, E. Hughes, K. Kinnunen, R. Leech, D.J. Sharp

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Errors trigger changes in behavior that help individuals adapt to new situations. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is thought to be central to this response, but more lateral frontal regions are also activated by errors and may make distinct contributions. We investigated error processing by studying 2 distinct error types: commission and timing. Thirty-five subjects performed a version of the Simon Task designed to produce large number of errors. Commission errors were internally recognized and were not accompanied by explicit feedback. In contrast, timing errors were difficult to monitor internally and were explicitly signaled. Both types of error triggered changes in behavior consistent with increased cognitive control. As expected, robust activation within the dACC and bilateral anterior insulae (the Salience Network) was seen for commission errors. In contrast, timing errors were not associated with activation of this network but did activate a bilateral network that included the right ventral attentional system. Common activation for both error types occurred within the pars operculari and angular gyri. These results show that the dACC does not respond to all behaviorally salient errors. Instead, the error-processing system is multifaceted, and control can be triggered independently of the dACC when feedback is unexpected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-713
JournalCerebral cortex
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-292320
  • IR-83000


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