Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Auditory Feedback Effects in Word Identification

Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Auditory Feedback Effects in Word Identification

Article excerpt

Our cognitive systems are fallible and prone to making all sorts of errors: slips of the tongue, miscalculations, typographic errors, and so on. The ability to monitor and compensate for these errors is essential for our daily functioning. Detecting and correcting for mistakes, also known as error regulation, is an important component of learning. Unfortunately, relevant research into error regulation has been sparse.

The focus of research on error regulation up to now has been on trying to determine the general locations of the mechanisms in the brain (van Veen et al, 2004). Several lines of research have linked the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as playing an important role in implementing processes underlying error regulation. One line of research has been event related potential (ERP) studies. These studies have found a component, referred to as error related negativity (ERN), that has consistently been modeled as being generated by the ACC (van Veen & Carter, 2002b). In support of these models, neuro-imaging studies using fMRI have shown increased ACC activity during error trials (Kiehl, Liddle, & Hopfinger, 2000).

A predominant paradigm used in neuroimaging studies has been the go/no-go task. A go/no-go paradigm requires the participant to respond quickly to one type of stimulus while inhibiting their response to another. For example, participants are instructed to emit a response every time a "X" is presented, but to withhold their response when a "K" is presented (See Kiehl, Liddle, & Hopfinger, 2000 for a review of the procedures). The probability of a no-go stimulus being presented to a participant is typically at 20% while the probability of the go stimulus is 80%. This is done so that participants do not develop a strategy in which speed is traded for inhibition success (Ramateur, Kok & Ridderinkhof, 2004). A derivative of the go/no-go task is the stop signal paradigm. In this paradigm the stopping behaviour of participants is studied by having participants engage in a primary task, such as a binary choice reaction time task--also known as the go stimulus. On some random trials, after a delay before the participant makes their response to the primary task, a second stimulus, the stop signal, is presented that informs the participant to withhold their response to the primary task (See Ramateur et al. for a review of the procedures).

The purpose of these paradigms is to try to make it easier to study the internal mechanisms that are responsible for error regulation. For example, detecting when a mistake has been made or when a modification of the mechanisms is made to avoid similar future mistakes. This is the reason why these tasks, which rely on the participant's internal error checking mechanisms, try to make participant errors as explicit as possible. Forcing the participant to know whether they have made an error on a particular trial, such as making a go response when a no-go stimulus was presented, is a very salient aspect of these types of tasks. Although this is a good way of measuring conflict monitoring and error regulation, its usefulness may not extend into scenarios where individuals may not be aware they have made an error--an implicit error, such as those that may be found in a lexical decision task (LDT).

A lexical decision paradigm is a binary decision task requiring participants to decide whether a letter string stimulus is either a real word or a made up word (nonword; Rubenstein, Garfield & Milikan, 1970). An LDT provides a measure of an individual's mental lexicon, and measures reaction time and accuracy as an index of performance (Stone and Van Orden, 1993). The letter string IDYLL is a real word, but for participants who have very infrequently come across a low frequency word such as this will probably incorrectly categorize it as a nonword. This is an example of an implicit error because the participant is not aware that IDYLL is a real word and will not realize that they have made an error. …

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