We studied whether baseline cortisol is associated with post-error slowing, a measure that depends upon brain areas involved in behavioral inhibition. Moreover, we studied whether this association holds after controlling for positive associations with behavioral inhibition scores and error-related negativity (ERN) amplitudes that cortisol and post-error slowing may share. Healthy female volunteers performed a flanker task. Cortisol was independently positively associated with post-error slowing and the ERN, supporting hypotheses that cortisol is involved in behavioral inhibition. Additionally, cortisol mediated an association between ERN and more post-error slowing, which suppressed a direct association between ERN and less post-error slowing. The results are relevant, not only for researchers of behavioral inhibition, but also for researchers of the basic mechanisms of the ERN and post-error slowing, and may bring those literatures together.

Additional Metadata
Keywords behavioral inhibition system, error-related negativity, post-error slowing
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01131.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/22407
Series ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Journal Psychophysiology: an international journal
Note Article in press
Tops, M, & Boksem, M.A.S. (2011). Cortisol involvement in mechanisms of behavioral inhibition. Psychophysiology: an international journal, 48(5), 723–732. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01131.x