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Feedback processing and the brain: The ESCAN symposium at ESCoP.

Sunday, October 02nd,   2011 [11:30 - 13:10]

SY_28. Feedback processing and the brain: The ESCAN symposium at ESCoP

van der Molen, M.

Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam

ESCAN is an acronym for European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. ESCAN has been established recently and provides a European platform for interaction and collaboration for researchers working in diverse fields of the cognitive and affective neurosciences. By organizing symposia at mutual meetings ESCAN and ESCoP aim at developing and strengthening collegial ties between the two organizations. The first ESCAN symposium at ESCoP is devoted to feedback processing. The processing of performance feedback is critical to determine the success of actions. Similarly, the processing of social-evaluative feedback is important vis-a-vis the need to belong. Electrophysiological studies of performance feedback processing have identified a negative deflection at fronto-central recording sites that peaks approximately 250 ms following feedback presentation and that appears to be larger following the presentation of negative feedback. Autonomic manifestations of both performance and social-evaluative feedback processing showed a consistent and transient heart rate slowing to negative relative to positive feedback. Neuroimaging studies revealed that the anterior cingulate cortex is the most likely neural source implicated in the processing of both performance and social-evaluative negative feedback. In this symposium, illustrations will be provided of autonomic, electrocortical and brain activation correlates of performance and social-evaluative feedback processing. It will be shown how these measures can be used to elucidate the mechanisms implicated in feedback processing.



SY_28.1 - Feedback processing in a hypothetico-deductive reasoning task

Vidal, F. 1 , Carbonnell, L. 1 , Sequeira, H. 2 & Caverni, J. 1

1 Universite de Provence, Aix-Marseille
2 Universite 2, Lille

The capacity to adjust behaviour and evaluate performance in a changing environment is highly related to taking feedback into account. The present study focused on feedback processing in hypothetico-deductive reasoning tasks. In these situations, strong response biases have been evidenced. These biases alone are insufficient to conclude that they represent errors of reasoning. Recording electrodermal activity evoked by feedback signals indicate that, when subjects displayed these response biases, the "error" feedback was unexpected, confirming that these biases represent errors of reasoning. In the same task, we analysed Event-Related Potentials evoked by the feedback signals. Depending of the recording sites, Laplacian-transformed data were sensitive, on the one hand to participants� expectancies in a binary and a gradual way and, on the other hand to the evaluation of performance itself: correct vs false. In conclusion, the processing of feedback signals depends on at least three separate processes in this kind of tasks.

SY_28.2 - Slowing after infrequent salient feedback irrespective of valence: Support for the orienting account

Notebaert, W. , Nunez Castellar, E. , Van der Borght, L. & Fias, W.

Experimental Psychology, Ghent University

We proposed the orienting account for post-error slowing by demonstrating that responses only slow down after infrequent errors. In a recent study, we observed that slowing occurred only after salient infrequent feedback. When the feedback was less positive or less negative (+1 instead of +10 or -1 instead of -10) than expected no slowing was observed However, when the feedback was more positive or more negative than expected (+10 instead of +1 or -10 instead of -1) subsequent slowing was observed irrespective of the valence. Similarly, in a different study, we demonstrated that post-error slowing reduced as the (long) experiment proceeded. We also explain this effect in terms of saliency, in the sense that errors become less salient and attention-capturing during the time-course of the experiment.

SY_28.3 - A tribute to Charlie Chaplin: How feedback-based learning benefits from watching slapstick comedy (and other dopamine-boosters)

Ridderinkhof, K. R. 1, 2 , van Wouwe, N. C. 3 , Band, G. P. 3 , van de Vijver, I. 1 , van den Wildenberg, W. P. 1 & Wylie, S. A. 4

1 Amsterdam center for the study of adaptive control in brain and behaviour (Acacia), Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
2 Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
3 Leiden University Institute of Psychology, University of Leiden
4 Neurology Department, University of Virginia Health Systems, Virginia, USA

Feedback-based learning refers to the process of learning to select those actions that lead to rewards while avoiding actions that lead to punishments. This process, known to rely on dopaminergic activity in striatal brain regions, is compromised in healthy aging and in Parkinson Disease (PD). We hypothesized that such decision-learning deficits are moderated by factors that improve frontostriatal dopaminergic activity. Computational measures of probabilistic feedback-based learning have been shown to rely on the nucleus caudatus (outcome evaluation during the early phases of learning) and the putamen (reward prediction during later phases of learning). We observed that various dopamine boosters (including induced positive affect, dopamine agonists, and deep brain stimulation) facilitated learning, through its effects on reward prediction rather than outcome evaluation. For instance, watching a few minutes of comedy clips served to remedy dopamine-related problems in putamen-based frontostriatal circuitry and, consequently, in learning to predict which actions will yield reward.

SY_28.4 - Feedback-related processes during a time production task in young and older adults

Falkenstein, M. , Wild-Wall, N. & Willemssen, R.

Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany

The mid-brain dopamine system subserves motor functions and also reward learning. We examined whether decline of the mid-brain dopamine system plays a role in the adaptation of precisely timed motor responses by feedback information. A young, a healthy older and a group with off-medicated Parkinson patients performed a time-production task with feedback given after each trial. Young participants performed superior to the two older groups whereas the performance was comparable between the healthy older group and the patients. The feedback-related negativity (FRN) was of lower amplitude for older vs. young participants. Preliminary results suggest that the FRN-amplitude of the Parkinson’s patients is comparable to the healthy older participants. The decreased response accuracy of the older group, and possibly also of the patients, may be related to a weakened fronto-striatal dopamine system and thus a reduced ability to use feedback information for improving temporal aspects of the motor response

SY_28.5 - Autonomic and brain correlates of social-evaluative feedback processing

van der Molen, M. 1 , Gunther Moor, B. 1, 2 & Crone, E. 1, 2

1 Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
2 Institute of Psychological Research, University of Leiden

Social relationships are vitally important in human life. Social rejection in particular has been conceptualized as a potent social cue resulting in feelings of hurt. In two studies participants were presented with a series of unfamiliar faces and were asked to predict whether they would be liked by the other person. Following each judgment, participants received feedback indicating that the other person had either accepted or rejected them. A neuroimaging study showed increased activation when participants had positive expectations about social evaluation, and increased activation following social acceptance feedback. A heart rate study showed that feedback was associated with transient heart rate slowing and a return to baseline that was considerably delayed in response to unexpected social rejection. This pattern of results indicates that the impact of social rejection is context-dependent. In addition, the results seem to suggest that the heart and brain are differentially sensitive to social rejection/acceptance.

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