2012-12-14Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00562
What I say is what I get: stronger effects of self-generated vs. cue-induced expectations in event-related potentials
Expectations regarding future events enable preparatory processes and allow for faster responses to expected stimuli compared to unexpected stimuli. Expectations can have internal sources or follow external cues. While many studies on expectation effects use some form of cueing, a direct comparison with self-generated expectations involving behavioral and psychophysiological measures is lacking. In the present study we compare cue-induced expectations with self-generated expectations that are both expressed verbally in a within-subjects design, measuring behavioral performance, and event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Response time benefits for expected stimuli are much larger when expectations are self-generated as compared to externally cued. Increased amplitudes in both the N2 and P3 components for violations of self-generated expectations suggest that this advantage can at least partially be ascribed to greater perceptual preparation. This goes along with a missing benefit for stimuli matching the expected response only and is mirrored in the lateralized readiness potential (LRP). Taken together, behavioral and ERP findings indicate that self-generated expectations lead to increased premotoric preparation compared to cue-induced expectations. Underlying cognitive or neuronal functional differences between these types of expectation remain a subject for future studies.
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