ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (10): 1189-1198.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01189

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


王丽君, 索涛(), 赵国祥()   

  1. 河南大学教育科学学院, 认知、脑与健康研究所, 心理与行为研究所, 开封 475004
  • 收稿日期:2019-11-25 出版日期:2020-10-25 发布日期:2020-08-24
  • 通讯作者: 索涛,赵国祥;
  • 基金资助:
    * 河南省博士后科研启动项目(001802013);河南省教育厅人文社科项目(2019ZDJH493)

The influence of unaware errors on post-error adjustment: Evidence from electrophysiological analysis

WANG Lijun, SUO Tao(), ZHAO Guoxiang()   

  1. School of Education, Henan University; Institute of Cognition, Brain and Health; Institute of Psychology and Behavior, Kaifeng 475004, China
  • Received:2019-11-25 Online:2020-10-25 Published:2020-08-24
  • Contact: SUO Tao,ZHAO Guoxiang;


现有研究一致认为意识到错误可引起错误后调整, 但是未意识到错误能否促使个体进行错误后调整尚存争议。本实验采用基于go/no-go范式的错误意识任务考察上述问题, 并根据被试对自己按键反应正误主观报告将no-go错误反应分为意识到错误和未意识到错误。行为结果发现, 意识到错误和未意识到错误后正确率均显著高于正确击中试次(正确go试次)后正确率; 但是, 意识到错误后试次反应时显著快于正确击中后反应时, 未意识到错误后反应时显著慢于正确击中后反应时。该结果表明两类错误均优化了错误后行为表现, 但是意识到错误后被试调整速度加快, 未意识到错误后被试调整速度减慢。进而, 时频分析发现意识到错误相较于未意识到错误诱发显著更强的alpha波能量。并且, 前者在错误意识主观报告前已诱发alpha波, 后者在错误意识主观报告反应后诱发alpha波。该结果表明意识到错误一直处于持续的注意监控中, 而未意识到错误是任务引起的暂时注意控制。因此, 本实验说明错误意识影响错误后调整, 意识到错误可能采用类似主动性控制的策略调节错误后行为, 而未意识到错误可能采用类似反应性控制的策略调节错误后行为。

关键词: 错误意识, 错误后调整, alpha波, 主动性控制, 反应性控制


Following errors, participants usually recruit more cognitive resources to change error-related behaviors; this phenomenon is termed post-error adjustment. Generally, behavioral adjustments in post-error trials behave 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 that only aware errors contribute to the phenomenon of 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 manner. These studies emphasized the role of bottom-up control in the processing of error awareness. Notably, previous studies have demonstrated that post-error adjustment involves both proactive and reactive cognitive control. Proactive control refers to a goal-driven manner that is actively maintained with sustained attention before the occurrence of cognitively demanding events. Reactive control refers to a bottom-up manner, in which the attentional control is mobilized when the goal-related event is reactivated. Thus, whether different control strategies are adopted by aware and unaware errors remains unclear.
To investigate the above issue, we recruited 36 participants to execute an error awareness task based on the go/no-go task. However, data from five participants were removed due to poor EEG records or poor behavioral performance. In the go/no-go error awareness task, participants were instructed to withhold their responses in certain circumstances. The first was when a word was presented on two consecutive trials, and the second was when the 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 potential conscious error trials. Thus, participants were instructed to respond to indicate their perceived response accuracy in both error and correct cases during the rating screen in the current experiment.
Since 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 the alpha band (8-14 Hz) reflects the trial-by-trial behavioral adjustment. Thus, alpha power is chosen as the neural indicator. As a result, the 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 was significantly higher than for trials following correct go. At the neural level, alpha (-500 to 500 ms) power was stronger for aware errors than for unaware errors. Moreover, the alpha was activated before the subjective report of error awareness for aware errors, but the alpha was activated after the subjective report of error awareness for unaware errors.
Current behavioral results showed that aware and unaware errors both successfully optimized post-error performance, but the two error types adopted different methods to adjust post-error behaviors. The time-frequency analysis revealed that aware errors led to sustained attention control after responses, but unaware errors led to temporary attention control induced by the subjective report of error awareness. Therefore, these findings might suggest that the adjustments following aware errors were based on a strategy such as proactive control, whereas the adjustments following unaware errors were based on a strategy such as reactive control.

Key words: error awareness, post-error adjustment, alpha, proactive control, reactive control