The Social Situation Affects How We Process Feedback About Our Actions

Autor(en): Czeszumski, Artur 
Ehinger, V, Benedikt
Wahn, Basil 
Koenig, Peter 
Stichwörter: BRAIN POTENTIALS; competition; cooperation; CORTEX; EEG; ERP; ERROR; EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS; feedback related negativity; FREE CLUSTER-ENHANCEMENT; INFORMATION; joint action; OUTCOMES; PERFORMANCE; Psychology; Psychology, Multidisciplinary; social cognition
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Band: 10
Humans achieve their goals in joint action tasks either by cooperation or competition. In the present study, we investigated the neural processes underpinning error and monetary rewards processing in such cooperative and competitive situations. We used electroencephalography (EEG) and analyzed event-related potentials (ERPs) triggered by feedback in both social situations. 26 dyads performed a joint four-alternative forced choice (4AFC) visual task either cooperatively or competitively. At the end of each trial, participants received performance feedback about their individual and joint errors and accompanying monetary rewards. Furthermore, the outcome, i.e., resulting positive, negative, or neutral rewards, was dependent on the pay-off matrix, defining the social situation either as cooperative or competitive. We used linear mixed effects models to analyze the feedback-related-negativity (FRN) and used the Threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE) method to explore activations of all electrodes and times. We found main effects of the outcome and social situation, but no interaction at mid-line frontal electrodes. The FRN was more negative for losses than wins in both social situations. However, the FRN amplitudes differed between social situations. Moreover, we compared monetary with neutral outcomes in both social situations. Our exploratory TFCE analysis revealed that processing of feedback differs between cooperative and competitive situations at right temporo-parietal electrodes where the cooperative situation elicited more positive amplitudes. Further, the differences induced by the social situations were stronger in participants with higher scores on a perspective taking test. In sum, our results replicate previous studies about the FRN and extend them by comparing neurophysiological responses to positive and negative outcomes in a task that simultaneously engages two participants in competitive and cooperative situations.
ISSN: 16641078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00361

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