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Reactive control strategy is adopted in unaware errors to adjust post-error behaviors
2. Henan University
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Abstract  Following errors, participants usually recruit more cognitive resources to change error behaviors, this phenomenon is termed post-error adjustment. Generally, behavioral adjustments in post-error trials behaves as slower subsequent responses and improved accuracy. It is worth noting that we cannot successfully perceive every error we commit in daily life. Several studies found that post-error slowing occurred only after aware errors, suggesting only aware errors contributes to the post-error adjustment. Moreover, these studies emphasized the role of top-down control in the processing of error awareness. However, a few studies came to the opposite conclusion, finding that post-error adjustment could be modulated by unaware errors in an implicit method. These studies emphasized the role of bottom-up control in the processing of error awareness. Notably, previous studies have demonstrated that post-error adjustment involved both proactive and reactive cognitive control. Proactive control means a goal-driven manner, which is actively maintained in a sustained attention before the occurrence of cognitively demanding events. Whereas reactive control means a bottom-up manner, the attentional control is mobilized when the goal-related event is re-activated. Thus, whether different control strategies were adopted by aware and unaware errors remained unclear. To investigate the above issue, 36 participants were recruited to execute an error awareness task based on go/no-go task. However, data from five participants were removed due to bad EEG record or bad behavioral performance. In the go/no-go error awareness task, participants were instructed to withhold their responses in the below circumstances. The first was when a word was presented on two consecutive trial, and the second was when font color of the word and its meaning were inconsistent. Additionally, the usage of an error signal button might lead to a response bias toward signaling or not signaling an error. If participants tended to signal errors, they might signal their correct responses as errors, increasing the false alarm rates. If participants did not tend to signal errors, aware errors might be classed as unaware errors. In this case, the measurement of unaware errors might be contaminated by the potential conscious error trials. Thus, participants were instructed to make a response to indicate perceived response accuracy in both error and correct cases during rating screen in the current experiment. Previous studies have found that neural oscillations reveal the processing of proactive and reactive control, the time-frequency analysis is conducted in this experiment. It has been suggested that alpha band (8-14 Hz) reflects trial-by-trial behavioral adjustment, thus alpha power is chosen as the neural indicator. As a result, post-error reaction time indicated two dissociated behavior patterns, with speeding up following aware errors and slowing down following unaware errors. However, accuracy in trials following aware and unaware errors were both significantly higher than for trials following correct go. In the neural level, alpha (-500 ~ 500 ms) power was stronger for aware errors than for unaware errors. Moreover, the alpha had been activated before the subjective report of error awareness 586 ms for aware errors, but the alpha was activated after the subjective report of error awareness 64 ms for unaware errors. Current behavioral results showed that aware and unaware errors both successfully optimized post-error performance, but two error types adopted different methods to adjust post-error behaviors. The time-frequency analysis revealed that aware errors were in a sustained attention control after response, but unaware errors were in a temporary attention control induced by the subjective report of error awareness. Therefore, these findings might suggest the adjustments following aware errors adopted a strategy like proactive control, whereas the adjustments following unaware errors adopted a strategy like reactive control.
Keywords error awareness      post-error adjustment      alpha      proactive control      reactive control     
Issue Date: 19 June 2020
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YU Li-Jun
SUO Shou
DIAO Guo-Xiang
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YU Li-Jun,SUO Shou,DIAO Guo-Xiang. Reactive control strategy is adopted in unaware errors to adjust post-error behaviors[J]. ,
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