When your error becomes my error: anterior insula activation in response to observed errors is modulated by agency.
ABSTRACT: Research on error observation has focused predominantly on situations in which individuals are passive observers of errors. In daily life, however, we are often jointly responsible for the mistakes of others. In the current study, we examined how information on agency is integrated in the error observation network. It was found that activation in the anterior insula but not in the posterior medial frontal cortex or lateral prefrontal cortex differentiates between observed errors for which we are partly responsible or not. Interestingly, the activation pattern of the AI was mirrored by feelings of guilt and shame. These results suggest that the anterior insula is crucially involved in evaluating the consequences of our actions for other persons. Consequently, this region may be thought of as critical in guiding social behavior.
Project description:Attenuated activity in performance-monitoring brain regions following erroneous actions may contribute to the repetition of maladaptive behaviors such as continued drug use. Externalizing is a broad personality construct characterized by deficient impulse control, vulnerability to addiction and reduced neurobiological indices of error processing. The insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) are regions critically linked with error processing as well as the perpetuation of cigarette smoking. As such, we examined the interrelations between externalizing tendencies, erroneous task performance, and error-related insula and dACC activity in overnight-deprived smokers (n?=?24) and non-smokers (n?=?20). Participants completed a self-report measure assessing externalizing tendencies (Externalizing Spectrum Inventory) and a speeded Flanker task during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. We observed that higher externalizing tendencies correlated with the occurrence of more performance errors among smokers but not non-smokers. Suggesting a neurobiological contribution to such suboptimal performance among smokers, higher externalizing also predicted less recruitment of the right insula and dACC following error commission. Critically, this error-related activity fully mediated the relationship between externalizing traits and error rates. That is, higher externalizing scores predicted less error-related right insula and dACC activity and, in turn, less error-related activity predicted more errors. Relating such regional activity with a clinically relevant construct, less error-related right insula and dACC responses correlated with higher tobacco craving during abstinence. Given that inadequate error-related neuronal responses may contribute to continued drug use despite negative consequences, these results suggest that externalizing tendencies and/or compromised error processing among subsets of smokers may be relevant factors for smoking cessation success.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Error processing and inhibitory control enable the adjustment of behaviors to meet task demands. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies report brain activation abnormalities in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) during both processes. However, conclusions are limited by inconsistencies in the literature and small sample sizes. Therefore, the aim here was to perform a meta-analysis of the existing literature using unthresholded statistical maps from previous studies. METHODS:A voxelwise seed-based d mapping meta-analysis was performed using t-maps from studies comparing patients with OCD and healthy control subjects (HCs) during error processing and inhibitory control. For the error processing analysis, 239 patients with OCD (120 male; 79 medicated) and 229 HCs (129 male) were included, while the inhibitory control analysis included 245 patients with OCD (120 male; 91 medicated) and 239 HCs (135 male). RESULTS:Patients with OCD, relative to HCs, showed longer inhibitory control reaction time (standardized mean difference = 0.20, p = .03, 95% confidence interval = 0.016, 0.393) and more inhibitory control errors (standardized mean difference = 0.22, p = .02, 95% confidence interval = 0.039, 0.399). In the brain, patients showed hyperactivation in the bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, and pre-supplementary motor area as well as right anterior insula/frontal operculum and anterior lateral prefrontal cortex during error processing but showed hypoactivation during inhibitory control in the rostral and ventral anterior cingulate cortices and bilateral thalamus/caudate, as well as the right anterior insula/frontal operculum, supramarginal gyrus, and medial orbitofrontal cortex (all seed-based d mapping z value >2, p < .001). CONCLUSIONS:A hyperactive error processing mechanism in conjunction with impairments in implementing inhibitory control may underlie deficits in stopping unwanted compulsive behaviors in the disorder.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Youths with disruptive behavior disorders, including conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, show major impairments in reinforcement-based decision making. However, the neural basis of these difficulties remains poorly understood. This partly reflects previous failures to differentiate responses during decision making and feedback processing and to take advantage of computational model-based functional MRI (fMRI). METHOD:Participants were 38 community youths ages 10-18 (20 had disruptive behavior disorders, and 18 were healthy comparison youths). Model-based fMRI was used to assess the computational processes involved in decision making and feedback processing in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, insula, and caudate. RESULTS:Youths with disruptive behavior disorders showed reduced use of expected value information within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex when choosing to respond and within the anterior insula when choosing not to respond. In addition, they showed reduced responsiveness to positive prediction errors and increased responsiveness to negative prediction errors within the caudate during feedback. CONCLUSIONS:This study is the first to determine impairments in the use of expected value within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and insula during choice and in prediction error-signaling within the caudate during feedback in youths with disruptive behavior disorders.
Project description:The loss of cognitive control is a prominent feature of schizophrenia. Relevant for adaptive control, individuals with schizophrenia often show impairments in their ability to monitor their ongoing behavior, and to adjust their responses based on advance information or feedback. By conducting a systematic examination of the behavioral adjustments after error and conflict and of activity within and between brain regions sensitive to the need to increase control (i.e. error commission, conflict presentation) in individuals with schizophrenia (n = 38) compared to healthy controls, we aimed to 1) shed light on the role of diverse brain regions previously associated with adaptive cognitive control, and 2) contribute to our understanding of the nature of the cognitive deficits present in individuals with schizophrenia. Our results show that error- and conflict-related behavioral adjustments are relatively intact during the performance of a change-signal task. Similarly, individuals with schizophrenia demonstrated intact error- and conflict-related effects in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, as well as in a number of other key regions including the bilateral anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC), bilateral insula, right inferior parietal lobule during error processing, and bilateral inferior parietal lobule and thalamus, right anterior PFC, left insula, and left lateral and inferior cerebellum during conflict processing. Given that a critical characteristic of our experimental design was the use of tasks that explicitly provide information about errors and conflict, we interpret our results as suggesting that the error- and conflict-detection systems are still somewhat functional in individuals with schizophrenia, but that a compromise in the ability to represent task relevant information that allow for the generation of an error representation may lead to the alterations in error- and conflict-processing documented in the schizophrenia literature.
Project description:Current theories of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia emphasize an impairment in the ability of individuals suffering from this disorder to monitor their own performance, and adjust their behavior to changing demands. Detecting an error in performance is a critical component of evaluative functions that allow the flexible adjustment of behavior to optimize outcomes. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been repeatedly implicated in error-detection and implementation of error-based behavioral adjustments. However, accurate error-detection and subsequent behavioral adjustments are unlikely to rely on a single brain region. Recent research demonstrates that regions in the anterior insula, inferior parietal lobule, anterior prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum also show robust error-related activity, and integrate into a functional network. Despite the relevance of examining brain activity related to the processing of error information and supporting behavioral adjustments in terms of a distributed network, the contribution of regions outside the dACC to error processing remains poorly understood. To address this question, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine error-related responses in 37 individuals with schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls in regions identified in the basic science literature as being involved in error processing, and determined whether their activity was related to behavioral adjustments. Our imaging results support previous findings showing that regions outside the dACC are sensitive to error commission, and demonstrated that abnormalities in brain responses to errors among individuals with schizophrenia extend beyond the dACC to almost all of the regions involved in error-related processing in controls. However, error related responses in the dACC were most predictive of behavioral adjustments in both groups. Moreover, the integration of this network of regions differed between groups, with the cerebellar regions and the dACC less connected to the network in individuals with schizophrenia compared to controls. Our findings demonstrate a blunted response to error commission in the dACC that is associated with reduced error-related behavioral adjustments in individuals with schizophrenia. This result supports the hypothesis that a failure to respond appropriately to errors in individuals with schizophrenia is linked to alterations in dACC function leading to a compromise in the implementation of cognitive control. Our findings highlight the importance of examining brain activity related to the processing of error information and supporting error-related behavioral adjustments in terms of a distributed network.
Project description:The ability to self-detect errors and dynamically adapt behavior is a cornerstone of higher-level cognition, requiring coordinated activity from a network of neural regions. However, disagreement exists over how the error-monitoring system develops throughout adolescence and early adulthood. The present report leveraged MRI-constrained EEG source localization to detail typical development of the error-monitoring system in a sample of 9-35 year-olds (n = 43). Participants performed a flanker task while high-density EEG was recorded; structural MRIs were also acquired for all participants. Analysis of the scalp-recorded EEG data revealed a frontocentral negativity (error-related negativity; ERN) immediately following errors for all participants, although the topography of the ERN varied with age. Source localization of the ERN time range revealed maximal activity within the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) for all ages, consistent with recent evidence that the PCC provides a substantial contribution to the scalp-recorded ERN. Activity within a network of brain regions, including dorsal anterior cingulate, PCC, and parietal cortex, was predictive of improved performance following errors, regardless of age. However, additional activity within insula, orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus linearly increased with age. Together, these data suggest that the core error-monitoring system is online by early adolescence and remains relatively stable into adulthood. However, additional brain regions become embedded within this core network with age. These results serve as a model of typical development of the error-monitoring system from early adolescence into adulthood.
Project description:The present study investigated the association between traits of the Five Factor Model of Personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness for Experiences, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and neural correlates of error monitoring obtained from a combined Eriksen-Flanker-Go/NoGo task during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 healthy subjects. Individual expressions of personality traits were measured using the NEO-PI-R questionnaire. Conscientiousness correlated positively with error signaling in the left inferior frontal gyrus and adjacent anterior insula (IFG/aI). A second strong positive correlation was observed in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC). Neuroticism was negatively correlated with error signaling in the inferior frontal cortex possibly reflecting the negative inter-correlation between both scales observed on the behavioral level. Under present statistical thresholds no significant results were obtained for remaining scales. Aligning the personality trait of Conscientiousness with task accomplishment striving behavior the correlation in the left IFG/aI possibly reflects an inter-individually different involvement whenever task-set related memory representations are violated by the occurrence of errors. The strong correlations in the ACC may indicate that more conscientious subjects were stronger affected by these violations of a given task-set expressed by individually different, negatively valenced signals conveyed by the ACC upon occurrence of an error. Present results illustrate that for predicting individual responses to errors underlying personality traits should be taken into account and also lend external validity to the personality trait approach suggesting that personality constructs do reflect more than mere descriptive taxonomies.
Project description:Humans can self-monitor errors without explicit feedback, resulting in behavioral adjustments on subsequent trials such as post-error slowing (PES). The error-related negativity (ERN) is a well-established macroscopic scalp EEG correlate of error self-monitoring, but its neural origins and relationship to PES remain unknown. We recorded in the frontal cortex of patients performing a Stroop task and found neurons that track self-monitored errors and error history in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Both the intracranial ERN (iERN) and error neuron responses appeared first in pre-SMA, and ?50 ms later in dACC. Error neuron responses were correlated with iERN amplitude on individual trials. In dACC, such error neuron-iERN synchrony and responses of error-history neurons predicted the magnitude of PES. These data reveal a human single-neuron correlate of the ERN and suggest that dACC synthesizes error information to recruit behavioral control through coordinated neural activity.
Project description:Self-esteem is shaped by the appraisals we receive from others. Here, we characterize neural and computational mechanisms underlying this form of social influence. We introduce a computational model that captures fluctuations in self-esteem engendered by prediction errors that quantify the difference between expected and received social feedback. Using functional MRI, we show these social prediction errors correlate with activity in ventral striatum/subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, while updates in self-esteem resulting from these errors co-varied with activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We linked computational parameters to psychiatric symptoms using canonical correlation analysis to identify an 'interpersonal vulnerability' dimension. Vulnerability modulated the expression of prediction error responses in anterior insula and insula-vmPFC connectivity during self-esteem updates. Our findings indicate that updating of self-evaluative beliefs relies on learning mechanisms akin to those used in learning about others. Enhanced insula-vmPFC connectivity during updating of those beliefs may represent a marker for psychiatric vulnerability.
Project description:Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show abnormal functioning in ventral frontal brain regions involved in emotional/motivational processes, including anterior insula/frontal operculum (aI/fO) and ventromedial frontal cortex (VMPFC). While OCD has been associated with an increased neural response to errors, the influence of motivational factors on this effect remains poorly understood.To investigate the contribution of motivational factors to error processing in OCD and to examine functional connectivity between regions involved in the error response, functional magnetic resonance imaging data were measured in 39 OCD patients (20 unmedicated, 19 medicated) and 38 control subjects (20 unmedicated, 18 medicated) during an error-eliciting interference task where motivational context was varied using monetary incentives (null, loss, and gain).Across all errors, OCD patients showed reduced deactivation of VMPFC and greater activation in left aI/FO compared with control subjects. For errors specifically resulting in a loss, patients further hyperactivated VMPFC, as well as right aI/FO. Independent of activity associated with task events, OCD patients showed greater functional connectivity between VMPFC and regions of bilateral aI/FO and right thalamus.Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients show greater activation in neural regions associated with emotion and valuation when making errors, which could be related to altered intrinsic functional connectivity between brain networks. These results highlight the importance of emotional/motivational responses to mistakes in OCD and point to the need for further study of network interactions in the disorder.