Error-Related Electrocortical Responses Are Enhanced in Children With Obsessive–Compulsive Behaviors
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The error-related negativity (ERN or Ne) and positivity (Pe) are event-related potential components elicited during simple discrimination tasks after an error response. The ERN and Pe have a fronto-central scalp distribution and may be an indirect measure of anterior cingulate (AC) activity as it relates to performance monitoring. Brain imaging studies suggest that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with exaggerated activity of the AC while electrophysiological studies have found an association between OCD and pronounced ERNs in adults. The present study explored the relation between obsessive-compulsive behaviors, the ERN, and the Pe in a sample of nonclinical 10-year-old children. It was found that more parent-reported obsessive-compulsive behaviors were associated with larger ERN and Pe components in the children. Results suggest unique contributions of the ERN and Pe in predicting obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
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