Anterior Cingulate Cortex Cells Identify Errors of Attentional Control Prior to Prefrontal Disengagement
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The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is implicated in the detection of errors and the allocation of correctional adjustments. However, error detection alone is not sufficient to resolve and prevent future mistakes since errors can occur in various ways, subsequently requiring different adjustments. I therefore investigated whether the ACC tracks specific processing states that give rise to errors in order to identify which specific processing aspects need readjustment. To do this, my lab recorded from cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of macaques while they were performing a selective-attention task that elicited three types of error. My study provides support for the functional role of the ACC in performance monitoring and specifying correctional adjustments through the tracking of specific sources of erroneous task outcomes.