Theta and alpha band modulations reflect error-related adjustments in the auditory condensation task
Error commission leads to adaptive adjustments in a number of brain networks that subserve goal-directed behavior, resulting in either enhanced stimulus processing or increased motor threshold depending on the nature of errors committed. Here, we studied these adjustments by analyzing post-error modulations of alpha and theta band activity in the auditory version of the two-choice condensation task, which is highly demanding for sustained attention while involves no inhibition of prepotent responses. Errors were followed by increased frontal midline theta (FMT) activity, as well as by enhanced alpha band suppression in the parietal and the left central regions; parietal alpha suppression correlated with the task performance, left central alpha suppression correlated with the post-error slowing, and FMT increase correlated with both behavioral measures. On post-error correct trials, left-central alpha band suppression started earlier before the response, and the response was followed by weaker FMT activity, as well as by enhanced alpha band suppression distributed over the entire scalp. These findings indicate that several separate neuronal networks are involved in post-error adjustments, including the midfrontal performance monitoring network, the parietal attentional network, and the sensorimotor network. Supposedly, activity within these networks is rapidly modulated after errors, resulting in optimization of their functional state on the subsequent trials, with corresponding changes in behavioral measures.