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Published January 2, 2019 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

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


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.

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.

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August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023