Poster E32, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Error-Induced Blindness: Error Detection Leads to Impaired Sensory Processing and Lower Accuracy at Short Response-Stimulus Intervals
Paul Beatty1, George Buzzell2, Natalie Paquette1, Daniel Roberts1, Craig McDonald1; 1George Mason University, 2University of Maryland
Empirical evidence indicates that detecting one’s own mistakes can serve as a signal to improve task performance. However, little work has focused on how task constraints, such as the response-stimulus interval (RSI), influences post-error adjustments. In the present study, event-related potential (ERP) and behavioral measures revealed that errors committed during a visual discrimination task led to a marked reduction in task performance on the following trial when RSIs were short, but that such impairments were not detectable at longer RSIs. Critically, diminished sensory processing at short RSIs, indexed by the stimulus-evoked P1 component, was predicted by an ERP measure of error processing, the Pe component. A control analysis ruled out an overall lapse in attention producing both error commission and subsequent reductions in sensory processing; instead, the data suggest that error detection causes an attentional bottleneck, which can impair performance on subsequent trials that occur in short succession. The findings demonstrate that the neural system dedicated to monitoring and improving behavior can, paradoxically, at times be the source of performance failures.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control