Event-related brain potentials and error-related processing: an analysis of incorrect responses to go and no-go stimuli

Psychophysiology. 1996 Jan;33(1):42-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1996.tb02107.x.


Recent research has suggested that there is a component of the event-related brain potential, the error-related negativity (ERN), that is associated with error detection and remedial actions such as error inhibition, immediate error correction, or error compensation. The present experiment used a go/no-go task to define more precisely the functional significance of this component. In this task, an ERN was observed for incorrect responses on go trials (errors of choice) and for responses on no-go trials (errors of action). Because errors of action cannot be corrected immediately by executing another response, these results indicate that the process manifested by the ERN is not dependent on immediate error correction. Other aspects of the data converge in suggesting that the ERN process is more closely related to error detection and that the connections between detection and remedial actions may depend on the task situation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology