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Abstract

Adaptive goal-directed behavior involves monitoring of ongoing actions and performance outcomes, and subsequent adjustments of behavior and learning. We evaluate new findings in cognitive neuroscience concerning cortical interactions that subserve the recruitment and implementation of such cognitive control. A review of primate and human studies, along with a meta-analysis of the human functional neuroimaging literature, suggest that the detection of unfavorable outcomes, response errors, response conflict, and decision uncertainty elicits largely overlapping clusters of activation foci in an extensive part of the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC). A direct link is delineated between activity in this area and subsequent adjustments in performance. Emerging evidence points to functional interactions between the pMFC and the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), so that monitoring-related pMFC activity serves as a signal that engages regulatory processes in the LPFC to implement performance adjustments.

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This research was supported by a TALENT grant (E.A.C.) and a VENI grant (S.N.) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and by the Priority Program Executive Functions of the German Research Foundation (M.U.). Helpful comments by S. Bunge are gratefully acknowledged.

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Science
Volume 306 | Issue 5695
15 October 2004

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Published in print: 15 October 2004

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Notes

Supporting Online Material
www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5695/443/DC1
Materials and Methods
Table S1
References

Authors

Affiliations

K. Richard Ridderinkhof*
Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Department of Psychology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, Netherlands.
Markus Ullsperger
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstrasse 1A, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
Eveline A. Crone
Center for Mind and Brain, University of California Davis, 202 Cousteau Place, Suite 201, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Sander Nieuwenhuis
Department of Cognitive Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Notes

*
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]

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