Endrass T, Klawohn J, Schuster F, Kathmann N. Overactive performance monitoring in obsessive-compulsive disorder: ERP evidence from correct and erroneous reactions. Neuropsychologia 46: 1877-1887

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Psychologie, Rudower Chaussee 18, 12489 Berlin, Germany.
Neuropsychologia (Impact Factor: 3.3). 02/2008; 46(7):1877-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.12.001
Source: PubMed


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has repeatedly been associated with hyperactivity in fronto-striatal brain regions and regions related to performance monitoring. The aim of the current study was to further investigate electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring. Specifically, we intended to replicate previous results revealing enhanced error-related negativity (ERN) amplitudes in OCD patients. Furthermore, we examined whether OCD patients also showed alterations regarding the correct-related negativity (CRN), the error positivity (Pe) and behavioural correlates of performance monitoring. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from a group of 20 OCD patients and 20 healthy control participants during a modified flanker task. Force sensitive response buttons were utilized to separate correct trials from incorrect trials with full and partial response activation. Both groups displayed substantial ERN and Pe amplitudes for full and partial errors. On error trials OCD patients showed enhanced ERN amplitudes, but group differences were not significant for the Pe and for behavioural adjustment. Further, the OCD group also exhibited enhanced CRN amplitudes and a correlation of frontal CRN amplitudes with symptom severity. These data provide further support for the view that performance monitoring is overactive in OCD. Further, since the amplitude enhancement is not specific to error processing, but is also observed for correct reactions, a response monitoring or evaluation process that contributes to both ERP components might be overactive in OCD. This is in line with fMRI results that revealed higher error- and conflict-related activity in the medial frontal cortex in OCD patients.

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    • "In this case, a different effect might be predicted . Endrass et al. (2008) did not observe PES after partial-error trials. On trials following full errors, PES was stronger in a monetary reward than in a monetary punishment condition (Stürmer et al., 2011), although it did not differ between a monetary punishment condition and a control condition (Endrass et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Affect and motivation influence the error-related negativity (ERN) elicited by full errors; however, it is unknown whether they also influence ERNs to correct responses accompanied by covert incorrect response activation (partial errors). Here we compared a neutral condition with conditions, where correct responses were rewarded or where incorrect responses were punished with gains and losses of small amounts of money, respectively. Data analysis distinguished ERNs elicited by full and partial errors. In the reward and punishment conditions, ERN amplitudes to both full and partial errors were larger than in the neutral condition, confirming participants' sensitivity to the significance of errors. We also investigated the relationships between ERN amplitudes and the behavioral inhibition and activation systems (BIS/BAS). Regardless of reward/punishment condition, participants scoring higher on BAS showed smaller ERN amplitudes in full error trials. These findings provide further evidence that the ERN is related to motivational valence and that similar relationships hold for both full and partial errors.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Biological psychology
    • "Thus, the Pe may be used to investigate whether socially anxious individuals display greater processing of known errors. Compared to ERN findings, research is less clear about the relationship between the Pe and anxiety (e.g., Endrass et al., 2008; Hajcak et al., 2004), including social anxiety (Barker et al., 2015; Endrass et al., 2014). More research is needed to examine possible relationships between social anxiety and processing of errors as indicated by the Pe. "
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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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    • "The neural generator of ERN has been intimately linked to the ACC (van Veen & Carter, 2002; Ridderinkhof et al. 2004; Debener et al. 2005), and there are robust findings of error-related ACC abnormalities in OCD patients (Ursu et al. 2003; Fitzgerald et al. 2005; Maltby et al. 2005). Importantly, ERN has repeatedly been shown to be hyperactive in individuals with OCD compared to controls (Gehring et al. 2000; Johannes et al. 2001; Santesso et al. 2006; Endrass et al. 2008, 2010, 2014; Hajcak et al. 2008; Hanna et al. 2012; Carrasco et al. 2013; Klawohn et al. 2014; Weinberg et al. 2015) reviewed in (Mathews et al. 2012). No ERN studies to date have explicitly focused on individuals with a primary diagnosis of HD. "
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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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