Error-related electromyographic activity over the corrugator supercilii is associated with neural performance monitoring

Nathaniel Elkins-Brown (Lead / Corresponding author), Blair Saunders, Michael Inzlicht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging research in social and affective neuroscience has implicated a role for affect and motivation in performance monitoring and cognitive control. No study, however, has investigated whether facial electromyography (EMG) over the corrugator supercilii-a measure associated with negative affect and the exertion of effort-is related to neural performance monitoring. Here, we explored these potential relationships by simultaneously measuring the error-related negativity, error positivity (Pe), and facial EMG over the corrugator supercilii muscle during a punished, inhibitory control task. We found evidence for increased facial EMG activity over the corrugator immediately following error responses, and this activity was related to the Pe for both between- and within-subject analyses. These results are consistent with the idea that early, avoidance-motivated processes are associated with performance monitoring, and that such processes may also be related to orienting toward errors, the emergence of error awareness, or both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Affect
  • Brain
  • Choice behavior
  • Conflict (Psychology)
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Facial muscles
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition (Psychology)
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction time
  • Young adult
  • Journal article
  • Research support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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