Detecting and correcting partial errors: Evidence for efficient control without conscious access

Rochet, N., Spieser, L., Casini, L., Hasbroucq, T. & Burle, B. (2014). Detecting and correcting partial errors: Evidence for efficient control without conscious access. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14(3), pp. 970-982. doi: 10.3758/s13415-013-0232-0

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Abstract

Appropriate reactions to erroneous actions are essential to keeping behavior adaptive. Erring, however, is not an all-or-none process: electromyographic (EMG) recordings of the responding muscles have revealed that covert incorrect response activations (termed "partial errors") occur on a proportion of overtly correct trials. The occurrence of such "partial errors" shows that incorrect response activations could be corrected online, before turning into overt errors. In the present study, we showed that, unlike overt errors, such "partial errors" are poorly consciously detected by participants, who could report only one third of their partial errors. Two parameters of the partial errors were found to predict detection: the surface of the incorrect EMG burst (larger for detected) and the correction time (between the incorrect and correct EMG onsets; longer for detected). These two parameters provided independent information. The correct(ive) responses associated with detected partial errors were larger than the "pure-correct" ones, and this increase was likely a consequence, rather than a cause, of the detection. The respective impacts of the two parameters predicting detection (incorrect surface and correction time), along with the underlying physiological processes subtending partial-error detection, are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive control, Error detection, Action awareness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13747

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