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Anterior Cingulate Cortex, Error Detection, and the Online Monitoring of Performance

Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 747-749
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.747

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Abstract

An unresolved question in neuroscience and psychology is how the brain monitors performance to regulate behavior. It has been proposed that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), on the medial surface of the frontal lobe, contributes to performance monitoring by detecting errors. In this study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine ACC function. Results confirm that this region shows activity during erroneous responses. However, activity was also observed in the same region during correct responses under conditions of increased response competition. This suggests that the ACC detects conditions under which errors are likely to occur rather than errors themselves.

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