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Single-Neuron Correlates of Error Monitoring and Post-Error Adjustments in Human Medial Frontal Cortex

Fu, Zhongzheng and Wu, Daw-An J. and Ross, Ian and Chung, Jeffrey M. and Mamelak, Adam N. and Adolphs, Ralph and Rutishauser, Ueli (2019) Single-Neuron Correlates of Error Monitoring and Post-Error Adjustments in Human Medial Frontal Cortex. Neuron, 101 (1). pp. 165-177. ISSN 0896-6273. PMCID PMC6354767.

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Humans can self-monitor errors without explicit feedback, resulting in behavioral adjustments on subsequent trials such as post-error slowing (PES). The error-related negativity (ERN) is a well-established macroscopic scalp EEG correlate of error self-monitoring, but its neural origins and relationship to PES remain unknown. We recorded in the frontal cortex of patients performing a Stroop task and found neurons that track self-monitored errors and error history in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Both the intracranial ERN (iERN) and error neuron responses appeared first in pre-SMA, and ∼50 ms later in dACC. Error neuron responses were correlated with iERN amplitude on individual trials. In dACC, such error neuron-iERN synchrony and responses of error-history neurons predicted the magnitude of PES. These data reveal a human single-neuron correlate of the ERN and suggest that dACC synthesizes error information to recruit behavioral control through coordinated neural activity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Wu, Daw-An J.0000-0003-4296-3369
Mamelak, Adam N.0000-0002-4245-6431
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Rutishauser, Ueli0000-0002-9207-7069
Additional Information:© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Received 14 August 2018, Revised 12 October 2018, Accepted 8 November 2018, Available online 4 December 2018. This work was supported by NIH (P50MH094258, R01MH110831, U01NS103792), an NSF CAREER award (1554105 to U.R), and the McKnight Endowment for Neuroscience (to U.R.). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author Contributions: Z.F., R.A., and U.R. designed the study. Z.F. and U.R. collected the data. Z.F., R.A., and U.R. analyzed the data and implemented analysis procedures. Z.F., U.R., A.N.M., and R.A. wrote the paper. D.-A.J.W. acquired and analyzed scalp EEG data. J.M.C. provided patient care and facilitated experiments. A.N.M. and I.R. performed surgery. The authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
McKnight FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:error monitoring; cognitive control; executive function; anterior cingulate cortex; pre-supplementary motor area; human intracranial; human single-neuron; medial frontal cortex; post-error slowing
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC6354767
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181204-100926700
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Zhongzheng Fu, Daw-An J. Wu, Ian Ross, Jeffrey M. Chung, Adam N. Mamelak, Ralph Adolphs, Ueli Rutishauser, Single-Neuron Correlates of Error Monitoring and Post-Error Adjustments in Human Medial Frontal Cortex, Neuron, Volume 101, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 165-177.e5, ISSN 0896-6273, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91424
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Dec 2018 19:05
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:35

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