Category-specific features and valence in action-effect prediction: An EEG study

Biol Psychol. 2017 Feb;123:220-225. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.12.005. Epub 2016 Dec 15.


Despite extensive research on action-effect anticipation, little attention has been paid to the anticipation of different attributes of an event. An action-effect is not only a sensory event; it is often also an event of emotional value which can be pleasant or aversive. This latter attribute of action-effect prediction is similar to anticipation of reward versus punishment. To date the neural systems controlling sensory and reward anticipation have not been systematically compared. To this end, we designed an experiment to manipulate the sensory content and the emotional valence of the stimuli in an orthogonal fashion. We recorded and compared event-related potentials (ERPs) to the presentation of stimuli instantiating expected or unexpected features. Our results suggest (1) that both features are processed altogether and (2) that the prediction error resulting from the manipulation is reflected in an enhanced N400 component.

Keywords: Anticipation; Ideomotor; N400; Prediction error.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticipation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Facial Recognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male