Poster D35, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in error processing: a combined ERP-TMS study
Fabio Masina1, Vincenza Tarantino1, Antonino Vallesi1,2, Daniela Mapelli1; 1University of Padua, 2San Camillo Hospital IRCCS, Venice
Error processing is a critical step towards an efficient adaptation of our behavior in order to achieve a goal. Several studies have investigated behavioral and electrophysiological (EEG) indexes associated with error processing, such as post-error slowing (PES), a motor slowdown following an error commission, and the error positivity (Pe), an electrical potential evoked by an incorrect response. Many of these studies have attempted to find a relationship between PES and the Pe, and to identify their brain sources. Although they revealed two crucial brain structures that mediate PES and the Pe, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the evidence in support of the DLPFC is weak. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the structural-functional relationship among PES, Pe, and DLPFC, by combining Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Electroencephalography (EEG). Fifteen participants (mean age 24 years, range 20-34) took part in three repetitive TMS sessions (20 minutes, 1 Hz). In each session, either the right DLPFC prefrontal cortex, the left DLPFC, or the Vertex (control site) was stimulated. Immediately after the stimulation, the EEG was recorded while participants performed a computerized task. The results showed that the stimulation of the left DLPFC only produced behavioral and electrophysiological effects. Specifically, a suppression of PES and a reduction of the Pe amplitude were observed. These findings proved a role of the left DLPFC in mediating error processing. Furthermore, for the first time, they provided direct evidence of a link among PES, Pe, and left DLPFC.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Other