To cross or not to cross monitoring decisions based on everyday life experience in a simulated traffic task
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Psychophysiology, 27, 3, (2013), pp. 113-123
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OW PWO [owi]
SW OZ BSI OGG
Journal of Psychophysiology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Developmental Psychopathology
Different theoretical accounts have attempted to integrate anterior cingulate cortex involvement in relation to conflict detection, error-likelihood predictions, and error monitoring. Regarding the latter, event-related potential studies have identified the feedback-related negativity (FRN) component in relation to processing feedback which indicates that a particular outcome was worse than expected. According to the conflict-monitoring theory the stimulus-locked N2 reflects pre-response conflict. Assumptions of these theories have been made on the basis of relatively simple response-mapping tasks, rather than more complex decision-making processes associated with everyday situations. The question remains whether expectancies and conflicts induced by everyday knowledge similarly affect decision-making processes. To answer this question, electroencephalogram and behavioral measurements were obtained while participants performed a simulated traffic task that varied high and low ambiguous situations at an intersection by presenting multiple varying traffic light combinations. Although feedback was kept constant for the different conditions, the tendency to cross was more pronounced for traffic light combinations that in reallife are associated with proceeding, as opposed to more ambiguous traffic light combinations not uniquely associated with a specific response. On a neurophysiological level, the stimulus-locked N2 was enhanced on trials that induced experience-based conflict and the FRN was more pronounced for negative as compared to positive feedback, but did not differ as a function of everyday expectancies related to traffic rules. The current study shows that well-learned everyday rules may influence decision-making processes in situations that are associated with the application of these rules, even if responding accordingly does not lead to the intended outcomes.
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