Learning from feedback: the neural mechanisms of feedback processing facilitating better performance

Behav Brain Res. 2014 Mar 15:261:356-68. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.12.043. Epub 2014 Jan 7.


Different levels of feedback, from sensory signals to verbal advice, are needed not only for learning new skills, but also for monitoring performance. A great deal of research has focused on the electrophysiological correlates of feedback processing and how they relate to good learning. In this paper, studies on the EEG correlates of learning from feedback are reviewed. The main objective is to discuss these findings whilst also considering some key theoretical aspects of learning. The learning processes, its operational definition and the feedback characteristics are discussed and used as reference for integrating the findings in the literature. The EEG correlates of feedback processing for learning using various analytical approaches are discussed, including ERPs, oscillations and inter-site synchronization. How these EEG responses to feedback are related to learning is discussed, highlighting the gaps in the literature and suggesting future directions for understanding the neural underpinnings of learning from feedback.

Keywords: Connectivity; ERP; FRN; Feedback; Learning; Oscillations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Feedback, Psychological / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology