- Action-effect negativity: Irrelevant action effects are monitored like relevant feedback
- Biological Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 82 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Goal-directed action presupposes the previous integration of actions and their perceptual consequences (action-effect binding). One function of action-effect bindings is to select actions by anticipating their consequences. Another, not yet well understood function is the prediction of action-contingent feedback. We used a probabilistic learning task and ERP analyses to compare the processing of explicit, performance-related feedback with the processing of task-irrelevant response-contingent stimuli. Replicating earlier findings, we found that negative performance feedback produced a feedback-related negativity (NFB), presumably related to response outcome evaluation. Interestingly, low-probability but task-irrelevant action effects elicited a signal similar to the NFB, even though it had a shorter duration. Response delays on trials following negative feedback and following low-probability action effects were correlated with one another. These observations suggest that automatically acquired action-effect relations are exploited for anticipating upcoming events. Like task-relevant performance feedback, task-irrelevant action effects serve as a basis for action monitoring processes, presumably mediated by medial frontal cortex.
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