Neurocogniton of action monitoring: Interaction of person- and task-related determinants


The projects aims at specifying situational (task-related) and personal (trait and/or disease-related) determinants of event-related brain potential correlates of action monitoring (error related negativity, ERN; correct related negativity, CRN). Previous findings point to reliably enhanced amplitudes of the ERN and CRN in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but also in other disorders and in individuals characterized by anxious apprehension. In the preceding project (En 906/1-1) studies addressing the modulation of ERN and CRN by stimulus compatibility and conflict frequency as well as by instructed response monitoring were advanced. Results show that ERN and CRN are dissociable suggesting contributing activity from more than one neuronal source. Using spatio-temporal principal components analyses additional evidence was provided for the existence of two topographically and functionally different subcomponents which contribute to monitoring of correct and erroneous actions. Enhanced ERN and CRN amplitudes in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) turned out to be driven by both subcomponents. In a simultaneous EEG/fMRI study we could show for the first time a different generator constellation underlying enhanced ERN amplitudes in OCD patients. Amplitudes of OCD patients could not be further enhanced by punishment of errors. In this project continuation we pursue on the basis of those findings by further elucidating task-related and trait-related effects on the ERN/CRN. To this aim, we test means to lower the ERN/CRN, in particular the enhanced amplitudes in OCD patients (a) by task-induced dividing of controlled attentional resources, and (b) by instructing speed-focused task execution. These experiments will be conducted in samples of individuals with low, moderate, and high obsessive-compulsive behaviours, the latter both with and without DSM-5 diagnosis of OCD, in order to test whether trait- and/or OCD-driven main effects, and a moderation of experimental effects by those individual differences occur. Several traits associated with OCD (neuroticism, trait anxiety, habitual negative affect, worrying, sensitivity for punishment, and perfectionism) will be measured to test in a regression analysis the unique variance contributions of those traits, and to find out the variable which accounts best for action monitoring processes. Explaining modifiability of disease-related processes and the role of personal and situation conditions will become relevant for successful treatment of mental disorders in the long run.


Principal Investigators
Kathmann, Norbert Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Clinical Psychology)

Duration of Project
Start date: 11/2014
End date: 02/2017

Last updated on 2020-19-11 at 13:23