Performance monitoring and error significance in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.
Biological psychology (Impact Factor: 3.4). 02/2010; 84(2):257-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.02.002
Source: PubMed


Performance monitoring has been consistently found to be overactive in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The present study examines whether performance monitoring in OCD is adjusted with error significance. Therefore, errors in a flanker task were followed by neutral (standard condition) or punishment feedbacks (punishment condition). In the standard condition patients had significantly larger error-related negativity (ERN) and correct-related negativity (CRN) ampliudes than controls. But, in the punishment condition groups did not differ in ERN and CRN amplitudes. While healthy controls showed an amplitude enhancement between standard and punishment condition, OCD patients showed no variation. In contrast, group differences were not found for the error positivity (Pe): both groups had larger Pe amplitudes in the punishment condition. Results confirm earlier findings of overactive error monitoring in OCD. The absence of a variation with error significance might indicate that OCD patients are unable to down-regulate their monitoring activity according to external requirements.

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Available from: Tanja Endrass, Aug 17, 2014
    • "Although many studies have found that anxiety is linked to the ERN and not the CRN (e.g., Aarts & Pourtois, 2010), other studies have found enhanced CRN and ERN in anxious individuals (Hajcak, McDonald, & Simons, 2004; Endrass, Klawohn, Schuster, & Kathmann, 2008; Endrass et al., 2010; Moser, Moran, & Jendusina, 2012). In the case of SAD, one study noted an enhanced ERN and CRN in SAD subjects relative to healthy controls (Endrass, Riesel, Kathmann, & Buhlmann, 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Self-focused attention is thought to be a key feature of social anxiety disorder. Yet few studies have used ERPs to examine whether socially anxious individuals display greater monitoring of their performance and attention to their errors. Similarly, only a few studies have used ERPs to examine how social anxiety is related to processing of performance feedback. Individuals with high (n = 26) and low (n = 28) levels of social anxiety completed a trial and error learning task. Self-focus was manipulated using false heart rate feedback during a random subset of trials. Performance feedback was given using emotional and neutral faces in a positive context (correct=happy face; incorrect=neutral face) and negative context (correct=neutral face; incorrect=disgust face) in order to investigate biased interpretation and attention to feedback. Socially anxious subjects displayed enhanced amplitude of the ERN and CRN, suggesting greater response monitoring, and enhanced Pe amplitude, suggesting greater processing of errors relative to the low social anxiety group. No group differences were observed with respect to feedback processing. Before learning stimulus-response mappings in the negative context, the FRN was larger for self-focus compared to standard trials and marginally larger for socially anxious subjects compared to controls. These findings support cognitive models and suggest avenues for future research.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Behavior Therapy
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    • "We also examined the age trajectory of ERN in each group. Previous studies of ERN and OCD have shown that response conflict tasks, particularly the Flanker task, are highly reliable (Meyer et al. 2013; Riesel et al. 2013), and stable (Olvet & Hajcak, 2009); however, studies of ERN and OCD using probabilistic learning or other tasks are more heterogeneous (Nieuwenhuis et al. 2005; Grundler et al. 2009; Hammer et al. 2009; Endrass et al. 2010). Given the reliability and stability of response conflict tasks for OCD, and the heterogeneity seen for other tasks, we chose to use a Flanker task for our comparisons. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with an abnormally large error-related negativity (ERN), an electrophysiological measure of error monitoring in response to performance errors, but it is unclear if hoarding disorder (HD) also shows this abnormality. This study aimed to determine whether the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying error monitoring are similarly compromised in HD and OCD. Method: We used a visual flanker task to assess ERN in response to performance errors in 14 individuals with HD, 27 with OCD, 10 with HD+OCD, and 45 healthy controls (HC). Age-corrected performance and ERN amplitudes were examined using analyses of variance and planned pairwise group comparisons. Results: A main effect of hoarding on ERN (p = 0.031) was observed, indicating ERN amplitudes were attenuated in HD relative to non-HD subjects. A group × age interaction effect on ERN was also evident. In HD-positive subjects, ERN amplitude deficits were significantly greater in younger individuals (r = -0.479, p = 0.018), whereas there were no significant ERN changes with increasing age in OCD and HC participants. Conclusions: The reduced ERN in HD relative to OCD and HC provides evidence that HD is neurobiologically distinct from OCD, and suggests that deficient error monitoring may be a core pathophysiological feature of HD. This effect was particularly prominent in younger HD participants, further suggesting that deficient error monitoring manifests most strongly early in the illness course and/or in individuals with a relatively early illness onset.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Psychological Medicine
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    • "Overall, it seems that overactive performance monitoring in obsessive–compulsive individuals may only be observable in simple response-conflict tasks that include the overriding of an incorrect response and in which errors are easy to detect. This may reflect difficulties in OCD patients and individuals with OC symptoms to down-regulate monitoring in situations and tasks that do not require a careful monitoring of performance (Endrass et al., 2010). The described inconsistencies in results between tasks further suggest that error monitoring may occur differently across tasks (Cavanagh et al., 2010; Grundler et al., 2009) and this may differently be modulated by psychopathology like OCD (Grundler et al., 2009; Kaczkurkin, 2013; Mathews et al., 2012; Nieuwenhuis et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Both obsessive-compulsive disorder and subclinical obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms seem to be associated with hyperactive error-related brain activity. The current study examined performance monitoring in subjects with subclinical OC symptoms using a new task with different levels of difficulty. Nineteen subjects with high and 18 subjects with low OC characteristics performed a random dot cinematogram (RDC) task with three levels of difficulty. The high and low OC groups did not differ in error-related negativity (ERN), correct-related negativity (CRN) and performance irrespective of task difficulty. The amplitude of the ERN decreased with increasing difficulty whereas the magnitude of CRN did not vary. ERN and CRN approached in size and topography with increasing difficulty, which suggests that errors and correct responses are processed more similarly. These results add to a growing number of studies that fail to replicate hyperactive performance monitoring in individuals with OC symptoms in task with higher difficulty or requiring learning. Together with these findings our results suggest that the relationship between OC symptoms and performance monitoring may be sensitive to type of task and task characteristics and cannot be observed in a RDC that differs from typically used tasks in difficulty and the amount of response-conflict. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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