Impacts of motivational valence on the error-related negativity elicited by full and partial errors

Yuya Maruo, Annekathrin Schacht, Werner Sommer, Hiroaki Masaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Affect and motivation influence the error-related negativity (ERN) elicited by full errors; however, it is unknown whether they also influence ERNs to correct responses accompanied by covert incorrect response activation (partial errors). Here we compared a neutral condition with conditions, where correct responses were rewarded or where incorrect responses were punished with gains and losses of small amounts of money, respectively. Data analysis distinguished ERNs elicited by full and partial errors. In the reward and punishment conditions, ERN amplitudes to both full and partial errors were larger than in the neutral condition, confirming participants' sensitivity to the significance of errors. We also investigated the relationships between ERN amplitudes and the behavioral inhibition and activation systems (BIS/BAS). Regardless of reward/punishment condition, participants scoring higher on BAS showed smaller ERN amplitudes in full error trials. These findings provide further evidence that the ERN is related to motivational valence and that similar relationships hold for both full and partial errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1


  • Error-related negativity
  • Partial error
  • Punishment
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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