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Poster E94

Hey, I thought I was right!: Neural correlates of unexpected feedback on a simple perceptual task

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Adam Holm1 (, Antoine Shahin1, Kristina Backer1; 1University of California, Merced

How do people process feedback that violates their expectations? Many electroencephalography (EEG) studies have examined error processing with performance feedback, but no studies to our knowledge have examined how feedback that is incongruent with one’s expectations is processed. To this end, our study used an auditory delayed match-to-sample task during EEG recording. On each trial, two different pure tones (selected from frequencies of 400, 450, and 570 Hz) were presented in sequential pairs, and young adult subjects (n = 15) indicated whether the latter tone in each pair was higher or lower-pitched than the first tone. Visual response feedback consisted of on-screen text utilizing a novel half-congruent (true feedback), half-incongruent (deceptive feedback; i.e., “incorrect” when the response was actually correct) design. We hypothesized that feedback-related surprise on incongruent feedback trials would affect event-related potential (ERP) amplitude, relative to trials with congruent feedback. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were time-locked to feedback onset and contrasted between congruent and incongruent feedback trials using cluster-based permutation tests. We observed a significantly stronger fronto-central negativity occurring around 300-400 ms for the incongruent, relative to congruent, feedback trials. This ERP modulation is consistent with the feedback-related negativity (FRN), an ERP associated with reward prediction error processing. Despite the feedback’s visual nature, the scalp topography suggests an auditory source. We conclude that this auditory FRN reflects participants’ mental replay of the auditory stimuli, in order to retroactively “repair” auditory representations according to the feedback.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition


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