Article thumbnail

Conscious perception of errors and its relation to the anterior insula

By Markus Ullsperger, Helga A. Harsay, Jan R. Wessel and K. Richard Ridderinkhof

Abstract

To detect erroneous action outcomes is necessary for flexible adjustments and therefore a prerequisite of adaptive, goal-directed behavior. While performance monitoring has been studied intensively over two decades and a vast amount of knowledge on its functional neuroanatomy has been gathered, much less is known about conscious error perception, often referred to as error awareness. Here, we review and discuss the conditions under which error awareness occurs, its neural correlates and underlying functional neuroanatomy. We focus specifically on the anterior insula, which has been shown to be (a) reliably activated during performance monitoring and (b) modulated by error awareness. Anterior insular activity appears to be closely related to autonomic responses associated with consciously perceived errors, although the causality and directions of these relationships still needs to be unraveled. We discuss the role of the anterior insula in generating versus perceiving autonomic responses and as a key player in balancing effortful task-related and resting-state activity. We suggest that errors elicit reactions highly reminiscent of an orienting response and may thus induce the autonomic arousal needed to recruit the required mental and physical resources. We discuss the role of norepinephrine activity in eliciting sufficiently strong central and autonomic nervous responses enabling the necessary adaptation as well as conscious error perception

Topics: Review
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2886909
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2006). 29:4531–4541 DanevSG,deWinterCR(1971)Heartratedecelerationaftererroneous responses. A phenomenon complicating the use of heart rate variability for assessing mental load. Psychol Forsch 35:27–34
  2. (2001). Conflict monitoring and cognitive control. Psychol Rev 108:624–652
  3. (2005). Current opinions on performance monitoring. MPI for Human Cognitive
  4. (2005). Error awareness in a saccade countermanding task. J Psychophysiol 19:275–280 Endrass
  5. (2004). Response monitoring without sensory feedback. Clin Neurophysiol 115:2014–2020 Aston-Jones G, Cohen JD (2005) An integrative theory of locus coeruleus–norepinephrine function: adaptive gain and optimal performance. Annu Rev Neurosci 28:403–450 Aston-Jones