Publication date: Available online 30 April 2018
Source:International Journal of Psychophysiology
Author(s): Adreanna T.M. Watts, Anne V. Tootell, Spencer T. Fix, Selin Aviyente, Edward M. Bernat
The neurophysiological mechanisms involved in the evaluation of performance feedback have been widely studied in the ERP literature over the past twenty years, but understanding has been limited by the use of traditional time-domain amplitude analytic approaches. Gambling outcome valence has been identified as an important factor modulating event-related potential (ERP) components, most notably the feedback negativity (FN). Recent work employing time-frequency analysis has shown that processes indexed by the FN are confounded in the time-domain and can be better represented as separable feedback-related processes in the theta (3–7 Hz) and delta (0–3 Hz) frequency bands. In addition to time-frequency amplitude analysis, phase synchrony measures have begun to further our understanding of performance evaluation by revealing how feedback information is processed within and between various brain regions. The current study aimed to provide an integrative assessment of time-frequency amplitude, inter-trial phase synchrony, and inter-channel phase synchrony changes following monetary feedback in a gambling task. Results revealed that time-frequency amplitude activity explained separable loss and gain processes confounded in the time-domain. Furthermore, phase synchrony measures explained unique variance above and beyond amplitude measures and demonstrated enhanced functional integration between medial prefrontal and bilateral frontal, motor, and occipital regions for loss relative to gain feedback. These findings demonstrate the utility of assessing time-frequency amplitude, inter-trial phase synchrony, and inter-channel phase synchrony together to better elucidate the neurophysiology of feedback processing.