This study investigated the cardiac and electrophysiological responses to feedback in a time-estimation task in which feedbackvalidity was manipulated. Participants across a wide age range had to produce 1 s intervals followed by positive and negative feedback that was valid or invalid (i.e., related or unrelated to the preceding time estimate). Performance results showed that they processed the information provided by the feedback. Negative feedback was associated with a transient cardiac slowing only when feedback was valid. Correct adjustments after valid negative feedback were associated with a more pronounced cardiac slowing. Validity did not affect the feedback-related negativity (FRN), except when remedial action was taken into account. The FRN and cardiac response to feedback decreased with advancing age, but performance did not. The current pattern of findings was interpreted to suggest that the FRN and cardiac response signal "alert" and that the cardiac response, but not the FRN, is implicated in the mechanisms invoked in remedial action.

Cognitive aging, Feedback-related negativity, Heart rate, Performance monitoring, Time-estimation task,
Journal of Psychophysiology (Print)
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Mies, G.W, Veen, F, Tulen, J.H.M, Hengeveld, M.W, & van der Molen, M.W. (2011). Cardiac and electrophysiological responses to valid and invalid feedback in a time-estimation task. Journal of Psychophysiology (Print), 25(3), 131–142. doi:10.1027/0269-8803/a000049