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Free Content Error correction maintains post-error adjustments after one night of total sleep deprivation

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Previous behavioral and electrophysiologic evidence indicates that one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD) impairs error monitoring, including error detection, error correction, and posterror adjustments (PEAs). This study examined the hypothesis that error correction, manifesting as an overtly expressed self-generated performance feedback to errors, can effectively prevent TSD-induced impairment in the PEAs. Sixteen healthy right-handed adults (seven women and nine men) aged 19–23 years were instructed to respond to a target arrow flanked by four distracted arrows and to correct their errors immediately after committing errors. Task performance and electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected after normal sleep (NS) and after one night of TSD in a counterbalanced repeated-measures design. With the demand of error correction, the participants maintained the same level of PEAs in reducing the error rate for trial N + 1 after TSD as after NS. Corrective behavior further affected the PEAs for trial N + 1 in the omission rate and response speed, which decreased and speeded up following corrected errors, particularly after TSD. These results show that error correction effectively maintains posterror reduction in both committed and omitted errors after TSD. A cerebral mechanism might be involved in the effect of error correction as EEG beta (17–24 Hz) activity was increased after erroneous responses compared to after correct responses. The practical application of error correction to increasing work safety, which can be jeopardized by repeated errors, is suggested for workers who are involved in monotonous but attention-demanding monitoring tasks.
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Keywords: correction instruction; error processing; flanker task; sleep loss; sleepiness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, Institute of Allied Health Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan and 2: Department of Psychology, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-yi, Taiwan

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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