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Human medial frontal cortex activity predicts learning from errors

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-18, 09:41 authored by R Hester, N Barre, K Murphy, Tim SilkTim Silk, JB Mattingley
Learning from errors is a critical feature of human cognition. It underlies our ability to adapt to changing environmental demands and to tune behavior for optimal performance. The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) has been implicated in the evaluation of errors to control behavior, although it has not previously been shown that activity in this region predicts learning from errors. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined activity in the pMFC during an associative learning task in which participants had to recall the spatial locations of 2-digit targets and were provided with immediate feedback regarding accuracy. Activity within the pMFC was significantly greater for errors that were subsequently corrected than for errors that were repeated. Moreover, pMFC activity during recall errors predicted future responses (correct vs. incorrect), despite a sizeable interval (on average 70 s) between an error and the next presentation of the same recall probe. Activity within the hippocampus also predicted future performance and correlated with error-feedback-related pMFC activity. A relationship between performance expectations and pMFC activity, in the absence of differing reinforcement value for errors, is consistent with the idea that error-related pMFC activity reflects the extent to which an outcome is "worse than expected". © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

History

Journal

Cerebral Cortex

Volume

18

Pagination

1933-1940

Location

Oxford, Eng.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1047-3211

eISSN

1460-2199

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

8

Publisher

Oxford University Press

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