How the human brain evaluates its own error – research

How the human brain evaluates its own error – research

In one second, the human brain can distinguish between the result of human error and the result where the person is not directly at fault.

This is stated in a study published in the scientific journal The Journal of Neuroscience, writes Medical Xpress.

Using an experiment, scientists from the University of Iowa (USA) analyzed the brain’s ability to distinguish the cause of an error. They asked 76 young adults to look at a group of arrows and choose the correct direction that one particular arrow was pointing.

When the subjects answered correctly (this happened almost always, because the task was easy), a triangle appeared on the screen. However, from time to time you could see other symbols on the screen – an anchor, a frog, a helicopter, etc. They appeared when a person answered correctly and waited for a triangle. It was a kind of imitation of an unexpected result.

The brain distinguishes the cause of an undesirable result in 1 second. Photo: SergeyNivens/Depositphotos

After three different intervals – 350, 1700 and 3000 milliseconds – scientists measured the brain’s reaction to situations with a standard outcome and a “surprise”.

It turns out that the brain needs 1 second (1000 milliseconds) to distinguish between these two results.

If the brain “noticed” a human error, it remained active for another 2-3 seconds. He used this time to understand her and remember her for the future.

“When it’s related to my own actions, and I can do something about it, the brain takes a few seconds to reset the whole cognitive apparatus, the visual and motor systems. It’s like the brain takes a pause to tell the rest of the body, the sensory, motor control, and tell them, ‘Let’s not do it again,'” – explains co-author of the study Jan Wessel.

At the same time, scientists measured brain waves using scalp electroencephalogram (EEG). They observed consistent neural activity that differed across error cases.

“Indeed, we found that while both errors and unexpected outcomes of correct actions resulted in comparable neural activity early on, only errors showed reliable, sustained brain activity for more than a second after the response.

Overall, this suggests that there are genuine, error-specific systems in the human brain that detect errors in our actions that trigger adaptive responses, such as strategically slowing current actions.” – says Wessel.

It will be recalled that we previously told what changes occur in a woman’s brain during menstruation.

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