School of Psychological Science

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Jasmine Taylor

Phone: (+61 4) 3935 5481


Supervisors

Start date

Feb 2014

Submission date

Feb 2018

Jasmine Taylor

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Thesis

Individual differences in the development of error monitoring

Summary

Numerous factors influence how individuals are informed by, and respond to, changing environmental demands. Error monitoring is an important cognitive control process that involves the detection of errors and subsequent adjustment of behaviour to optimise performance. Two electrophysiological indices of this monitoring process, the error-related negativity (ERN) and the error positivity (Pe), are generated in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), an area rich in dopaminergic innervation and receptors. This, combined with evidence that ERN and Pe amplitudes are highly heritable, has led to suggestions that dopaminergic genes might modulate error monitoring. Additionally, as disordered dopamine neurotransmission is implicated in mediating impulsiveness across a range of behaviours, it has been proposed that impulsivity may be a vulnerability marker for monitoring deficiencies. The broad aim of this research is to examine these questions by evaluating whether individual differences in impulsivity and dopaminergic candidate genes mediate the development of error monitoring. Analysis of electrophysiological and behavioural correlates will clarify the underpinning mechanisms and pathways.

Why my research is important

The requirement to identify the factors that mediate individual differences in error monitoring is imperative. The role of the ACC, an area rich in dopaminergic innervation and receptors, combined with findings by Cummins, Byrne, Hawi, and Bellgrove (2012), strongly implicate genotype in this monitoring process. Additionally, as disordered dopamine neurotransmission is suggested to mediate impulsiveness across a range of behaviours, impulsivity may be an endophenotype for monitoring deficiencies. Identification of the better predictor of individual differences in error monitoring will elucidate underpinning mechanisms and pathways, as well as prompt an evaluation into their mobilisation throughout development. The ability to recognise people at higher risk of diminished error monitoring may facilitate the creation of enhanced environments to support these individuals.


 

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Last updated:
Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM

http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/2148118