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Performance Monitoring by the Anterior Cingulate Cortex During Saccade Countermanding

Science  03 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5642, pp. 120-122
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087847

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Abstract

Consensus is emerging that the medial frontal lobe of the brain is involved in monitoring performance, but precisely what is monitored remains unclear. A saccade-countermanding task affords an experimental dissociation of neural signals of error, reinforcement, and conflict. Single-unit activity was monitored in the anterior cingulate cortex of monkeys performing this task. Neurons that signaled errors were found, half of which responded to the omission of earned reinforcement. A further diversity of neurons signaled earned or unexpected reinforcement. No neurons signaled the form of conflict engendered by interruption of saccade preparation produced in this task. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the anterior cingulate cortex monitors the consequences of actions.

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