Seminar Series

Action Monitoring & Interference Control

Adequate adaptive performance in cognitive tasks requires continuous monitoring for the need to adjust performance strategies and executive control. Here we examine variability in action monitoring and consequent failures in performance adjustments. Converging evidence from studies of brain activation patterns, using fMRI or event-related brain potentials, indicatesNeuroimaging studies and event-related brain potential research have identified that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) isas a critical component of the neural control circuit in frontal cerebrum that serves as an that implements this action monitoring system in the performance of cognitive tasks. This evaluative control systemThe ACC is thought to detect preconsciously the activation of erroneous or conflicting responses and to signal the need to activate adaptive control processes, serving to instigate performance adjustments that minimize the risk of subsequent errors. Executive control operations necessary to produce these performance adjustments, such as interference control, involve prefrontal cortex (PFC). Both PFC and ACC are heavily innervated by dopaminergic projections from striatum. Here we review a series of paradigmatic studies, using various conflict tasks and various methods, to highlight the neurocognitive processes of performance monitoring and interference control and their interplay.