Brain oscillatory activity associated with task switching and feedback processing

Toni Cunillera, Lluís Fuentemilla, Jose Periañez, Josep Marco-Pallarès, Ulrike M. Krämer, Estela Càmara, Thomas F. Münte, Rodríguez Fornells Antoni*

*Corresponding author for this work
36 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we sought to dissociate event-related potentials (ERPs) and the oscillatory activity associated with signals indicating feedback about performance (outcome-based behavioral adjustment) and the signals indicating the need to change or maintain a task set (rule-based behavioral adjustment). With this purpose in mind, we noninvasively recorded electroencephalographic signals, using a modified version of the Wisconsin card sorting task, in which feedback processing and task switching could be studied separately. A similar late positive component was observed for the switch and correct feedback signals on the first trials of a series, but feedback-related negativity was observed only for incorrect feedback. Moreover, whereas theta power showed a significant increase after a switch cue and after the first positive feedback of a new series, a selective frontal beta-gamma increase was observed exclusively in the first positive feedback (i.e., after the selection of the new rule). Importantly, for the switch cue, beta-alpha activity was suppressed rather than increased. This clear dissociation between the cue and feedback stimuli in task switching emphasizes the need to accurately study brain oscillatory activity to disentangle the role of different cognitive control processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)16-33
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2012


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