Event-related brain potentials to self-triggered tones: Impact of action type and impulsivity traits

Neuropsychologia. 2019 Mar 4:125:14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.01.012. Epub 2019 Jan 24.


Human event-related potentials (ERPs) have previously been observed to be attenuated for self-triggered sounds and amplified for deviant auditory stimuli. These auditory ERP modulations have been proposed to reflect internal predictions about the sensory consequences of our actions and more generally about our sensory context. The present exploratory ERP study (1) compared the processing of self-triggered tones by either intention-based or stimulus-driven actions, and (2) studied the impact of impulsivity traits on the prediction of action-effects. Our results are consistent with an early distinction, before N1, between tones triggered by intention-based actions and tones triggered by stimulus-driven actions. Moreover, we observed an enhanced N2b for deviant stimuli triggered by intention-based actions only. In addition, N2b modulations were correlated with impulsiveness scores. Altogether our results suggest that action-effect prediction is stronger in intention-based actions and impaired in impulsive participants but replication studies are needed to corroborate the reported findings.

Keywords: EEG; Impulsivity; Intention-based action; Self-triggered tones; Sensory prediction; Stimulus-driven action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reaction Time
  • Young Adult