The ability to learn from the consequences of our actions is crucial for adaptive goal-directed behavior. We learn to avoid actions that lead to unfavorable outcomes and pursue actions that lead to desirable results. By recording event-related potentials (ERPs), we show that neural reinforcement learning signals associated with positive outcomes are predictive of subsequent learning of a sequence of motor actions: Positive feedback to a response that was later correctly repeated was associated with a larger Medial Frontal Negativity (MFN) compared to when it was not correctly repeated on a subsequent encounter. This finding adds to recent evidence suggesting that the function of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex is to establish associations between actions and their outcomes, both positive and negative.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2012.01388.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/76345
Journal Psychophysiology: an international journal
Citation
van der Helden, J, & Boksem, M.A.S. (2012). Medial frontal negativity reflects learning from positive feedback. Psychophysiology: an international journal, 49(8), 1109–1113. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2012.01388.x