Lapses in a prefrontal-extrastriate preparatory attention network predict mistakes

J Cogn Neurosci. 2006 Sep;18(9):1477-87. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2006.18.9.1477.


Mistakes are common to all forms of behavior but there is disagreement about what causes errors. We recorded electrophysiological and behavioral measures in a letter discrimination task to examine whether deficits in preparatory attention predicted subsequent response errors. Error trials were characterized by decreased frontal-central preparatory attention event-related potentials (ERPs) prior to stimulus presentation and decreased extrastriate sensory ERPs during visual processing. These findings indicate that transient lapses in a prefrontal-extrastriate preparatory attention network can lead to response errors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Contingent Negative Variation / physiology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reference Values