Action monitoring, error detection, and the basal ganglia: an ERP study

Neuroreport. 2001 Jan 22;12(1):157-61. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200101220-00039.


The error negativity (Ne or ERN) is an event-related brain potential component, which is assumed to reflect error detection. Recently it has been hypothesized that the basal ganglia are assumed to play a crucial role in error detection. In the present study we ask whether the Ne is altered in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), who have an impaired function of the basal ganglia. We recorded the Ne in patients and in matched controls, while they performed different tasks that require a relatively high cognitive control, which is supposed to pose particular problems on PD. The Ne was in fact smaller in the patients than in the controls in all tasks. Our results suggest an impairment of error detection in PD for different types of demanding tasks. This supports the hypothesis that the basal ganglia do play an important role for error detection in action monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*