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Performance Monitoring and Cognitive Control in Individuals with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2012

Michael J. Larson*
Departments of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Peter E. Clayson
Departments of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah Department of Psychology, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Thomas J. Farrer
Departments of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael J. Larson, Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, 244 TLRB, Provo, UT 84602. E-mail:


Literature suggests that individuals with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) show subtle abnormalities in the cognitive control process of performance monitoring. The neural bases of performance monitoring can be measured using the error-related negaitivity (ERN) and post-error positivity (Pe) components of the scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP). Thirty-six individuals with mTBI and 46 demographically similar controls completed a modified color-naming Stroop task while ERPs were recorded. Separate repeated-measures analyses of variance were used to examine the behavioral (response times [RT] and error rates) and ERP (ERN and Pe amplitudes) indices of performance monitoring. Both groups showed slower RTs and increased error rates on incongruent trials relative to congruent trials. Likewise, both groups showed more negative ERN and more positive Pe amplitude to error trials relative to correct trials. Notably, there were no significant main effects or interactions of group for behavioral and ERP measures. Subgroup and correlational analyses with post-concussive symptoms and indices of injury severity were also not significant. Findings suggest comparable performance to non-injured individuals in some aspects of cognitive control in this sample. Neuropsychological implications and comparison with other cognitive control component processes in individuals with TBI are provided. (JINS, 2012, 18, 323–333)

Research Articles
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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