Prediction errors in self- and externally-generated deviants

Biol Psychol. 2013 Feb;92(2):410-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.11.017. Epub 2012 Dec 14.


Sounds generated by one's own action elicit attenuated brain responses compared to brain responses to identical sounds that are externally-generated. The present study tested whether the suppression effect indexed by the N1- and P2-components of the event-related potential (ERP) is larger when self-generated sounds are correctly predicted than when they are not. Furthermore, sounds violating a prediction lead to a particular prediction error signal (i.e., N2b, P3a). Thus, we tested whether these error signals increase for self-generated sounds (i.e., enhanced N2b, P3a). We compared ERPs elicited by self- and externally-generated sounds that were of frequent standard and of infrequent deviant pitch. The results confirmed an N1- and P2-suppression effect elicited by self-generated standard sounds. The N1-suppression was smaller in response to self-initiated deviant sounds, indicating the specificity of predictions for self-generated sounds. In addition, an enhancement of N2b and P3a for self-generated deviants revealed the saliency of prediction error signals.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reaction Time
  • Sound
  • Young Adult