Masina, F, Di Rosa, E and Mapelli, D (2018) Intra-Individual Variability of Error Awareness and Post-error Slowing in Three Different Age-Groups. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. ISSN 1664-1078

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Background: Error awareness (EA) and post-error slowing (PES) are two crucial components of an adequate performance monitoring because, respectively, they allow being aware of an error and triggering performance adjustments following unexpected events.

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the ontogenetic trajectories of EA and PES, as well as to examine how EA and PES interact with each other.

Methods: The performance of three groups of participants (children, younger, and older adults) in a modified version of the Error Awareness task (EAT; Hester et al., 2005) was compared. In particular, in this study not only variations of the average performance were examined, but also intra-individual variability (IIV), considered in terms of variations of SD and ex-Gaussian parameters (mu, sigma, and tau).

Results: Two distinct ontogenetic trajectories of EA and PES were observed. Regarding EA, we observe a U-shaped curve that describes an increase of the process from childhood to early adulthood and a progressive reduction advancing age in late adulthood. Furthermore, a greater IIV in older adults indicated a susceptibility of EA to the aging process. The ontogenetic trajectory of PES seems substantially different from the trajectory that describes EA since in PES we do not observe age-related differences.

Conclusion: These results suggest that EA and PES are two independent processes. Furthermore, it appears that EA and PES are differently prone to short-term fluctuations in performance across the lifespan. While EA presents an increase in IIV in aging, PES seems to be immune to these changes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2018 Masina, Di Rosa and Mapelli. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: error awareness, post-error slowing, intra-individual variability, executive functions, performance monitoring, ex-Gaussian analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF176 Psychological tests and testing
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2020 08:00
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2020 08:00

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