Event Abstract

Striving to optimize behavior: performance monitoring and adaptive changes in brain activity

  • 1 Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

For successful, goal-directed behavior it is necessary to continuously monitor for deviations of action outcomes from the intended goals and for situations associated with high likelihood to fail. This performance monitoring enables us to adaptively change our behavior, strategies, motivation and cognition in order to achieve optimal action outcomes. I will give an overview on the current knowledge about the functional neuroanatomy of performance monitoring. To elucidate the interactions between performance monitoring and adaptive changes in brain activity and behavior I will discuss findings demonstrating systematic trial-by-trial changes in EEG and fMRI signals prior to, on, and after errors. The presented data support the notion that the posterior mesial frontal cortex signals the need for adjustments and triggers diverse and independent adaptive mechanisms by interactions with other brain regions. Moreover, error-preceding changes in brain activity and our current understanding of maladaptive processes leading to erroneous behavior will be discussed. In the last part of the presentation, I will discuss the relationship of reinforcement learning and performance monitoring. By means of genetic and pharmacological data I will highlight the role of dopamine in this function.

Keywords: erroneous behavior, Functional neuroanatomy, Performance monitoring, reinforcement learning

Conference: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI), Palma, Mallorca, Spain, 25 Sep - 29 Sep, 2011.

Presentation Type: Keynote Lecture

Topic: Keynote Lectures

Citation: Ullsperger M (2011). Striving to optimize behavior: performance monitoring and adaptive changes in brain activity. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00003

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Received: 02 Nov 2011; Published Online: 08 Nov 2011.

* Correspondence: Prof. Markus Ullsperger, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands, m.ullsperger@donders.ru.nl

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