Errors Disrupt Subsequent Early Attentional Processes


  • van Der Borght Liesbet
  • Schevernels Hanne
  • Burle Boris
  • Notebaert Wim

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It has been demonstrated that target detection is impaired following an error in an unrelated flanker task. These findings support the idea that the occurrence or processing of unex- pected error-like events interfere with subsequent information processing. In the present study, we investigated the effect of errors on early visual ERP components. We therefore combined a flanker task and a visual discrimination task. Additionally, the intertrial interval between both tasks was manipulated in order to investigate the duration of these negative after-effects. The results of the visual discrimination task indicated that the amplitude of the N1 component, which is related to endogenous attention, was significantly decreased fol- lowing an error, irrespective of the intertrial interval. Additionally, P3 amplitude was attenu- ated after an erroneous trial, but only in the long-interval condition. These results indicate that low-level attentional processes are impaired after errors.

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