Effects of conflict and strategic processing on neural responses to errors in schizophrenia

Kayla R. Donaldson, Brian J. Roach, Judith M. Ford, Karen Lai, Kartik K. Sreenivasan, Daniel H. Mathalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The error-related negativity (ERN) and error-positivity (Pe) are commonly linked to error-detection and strategic processing. Studies have documented the influence of conflict probability on ERN amplitude. However, the influence of conflict probability on ERN/Pe in schizophrenia, where such components are reduced, is unknown. A modified flanker paradigm was used to examine how the probability of conflict modulates ERN and Pe amplitudes in patients with schizophrenia (n = 33) and healthy controls (n = 25). Increased ERN was observed in response to errors on low probability, incongruent trials. No such differences were observed in Pe. While ERN and Pe showed significantly reduced amplitudes in patients relative to controls, patients showed normal condition-dependent ERN and reaction-time modulation. This suggests that while the neural mechanisms generating the ERN and Pe are compromised in schizophrenia, those modulating task performance strategy and neurophysiological responses to errors based on conflict probability are intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Conflict
  • EEG
  • ERN
  • ERP
  • Performance-monitoring
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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