Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Detecting errors in the actions of others: An EEG study in pianists, musicians and musically naïve people

M.S. Panasiti, E.F. Pavone and S.M. Aglioti from the Department of Psychology, University of Rome “La Sapienza” - Italy, wrote this new article "Electrocortical signatures of detecting errors in the actions of others: An EEG study in pianists, musicians and musically naïve people" that uses EEG to explored the link between sensorimotor expertise and the ability to detect another’s erroneous action.


Detecting others’ action errors plays a critical role in social life. Studies indicate that executing action errors and observing other’s errors activate a specific cerebral system specialized for performance monitoring and detecting mismatches between an internal model of the action and the executed/observed one. Such a system may be particularly important for highly skilled performance. By recording EEG in expert pianists, non-pianist musicians and musically naïve individuals while they observed correct or incorrect mute piano sequences. Superior error detection in pianists was paralleled by a larger Pe, hinting at the selective activation of the parietal error-monitoring system in visuo-motor experts. Moreover, only in pianists did action observation induce left lateralized mu suppression in the 10–12 Hz band, reflecting somatotopic sensorimotor simulation.(...) This study shows that specific electrocortical indices link motor simulation and detection of errors in the actions of others.

Topics of Interest
  • Error detection in motor experts is paralleled by Pe over parietal electrodes;
  • Observing domain-specific actions induce lateralized mu suppression in pianist;.
  • Motor simulation improves sensitivity to errors which in turn improves detection.

More informations here.


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