Feedback-related negativity reflects omission of monetary gains: Evidence from ERP gambling study
Feedback processing is an important aspect of learning. In the human brain, feedback processing is often examined by measuring an event-related potential, the feedback-related negativity component. Typically, the feedback-related negativity component is investigated by directly comparing gain with loss feedback randomized across trials; however, this method does not control for confounds associated with unexpected feedback. For this study we used a blocked design gambling task to investigate the sensitivity of feedback-related negativity to positive and negative feedback separately for gains and losses. While there appeared to be no significant feedback-related negativity in the loss domain, results revealed an enlarged feedback-related negativity during the omission of gains compared to the reception of gains. These findings further support the reward positivity hypothesis which declares that the feedback-related negativity is associated with the processing of outcomes in the context of gains as opposed to losses, irrespective of unexpectedness.