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Free Content Immediate error correction process following sleep deprivation

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Previous studies have suggested that one night of sleep deprivation decreases frontal lobe metabolic activity, particularly in the anterior cingulated cortex (ACC), resulting in decreased performance in various executive function tasks. This study thus attempted to address whether sleep deprivation impaired the executive function of error detection and error correction. Sixteen young healthy college students (seven women, nine men, with ages ranging from 18 to 23 years) participated in this study. Participants performed a modified letter flanker task and were instructed to make immediate error corrections on detecting performance errors. Event-related potentials (ERPs) during the flanker task were obtained using a within-subject, repeated-measure design. The error negativity or error-related negativity (Ne/ERN) and the error positivity (Pe) seen immediately after errors were analyzed. The results show that the amplitude of the Ne/ERN was reduced significantly following sleep deprivation. Reduction also occurred for error trials with subsequent correction, indicating that sleep deprivation influenced error correction ability. This study further demonstrated that the impairment in immediate error correction following sleep deprivation was confined to specific stimulus types, with both Ne/ERN and behavioral correction rates being reduced only for trials in which flanker stimuli were incongruent with the target stimulus, while the response to the target was compatible with that of the flanker stimuli following sleep deprivation. The results thus warrant future systematic investigation of the interaction between stimulus type and error correction following sleep deprivation.
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Keywords: error correction; error negativity; error positivity; error-related negativity; sleep deprivation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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