Error detection, correction, and prevention in the brain: A brief review of data and theories

V. Van Veen, Cameron S Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Errors during speeded response tasks are typically immediately followed by a large component in the event-related potential, the error-related negativity; various lines of research have suggested that this component is primarily generated by the anterior cingulate cortex. This error-related activity has generated a high level of interest and investigation by cognitive neuroscientists because of the importance of online action monitoring for theories of cognitive regulation. A subsequent component, the error positivity, has remained more elusive to date. In this review we will discuss some of the extensive research which has suggested that these components are related to performance monitoring, and, should performance be compromised, dynamically adjusting control processes. Furthermore, evidence from patients with mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, suggests that such illnesses might be understood as resulting in part from disturbances in this action monitoring function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-335
Number of pages6
JournalClinical EEG and Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Anterior Cingulate Cortex
  • Attention
  • Conflict
  • Control
  • Error-Related Negativity
  • Errors
  • Prefrontal Cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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