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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 726798, 11 pages
Research Article

The Context Matters: Outcome Probability and Expectation Mismatch Modulate the Feedback Negativity When Self-Evaluation of Response Correctness Is Possible

1Institute of Psychology, University of Kiel, 24118 Kiel, Germany
2Institute of Psychology, University of Bonn, 53111 Bonn, Germany

Received 27 August 2015; Revised 7 November 2015; Accepted 8 November 2015

Academic Editor: Antonino Vallesi

Copyright © 2015 Anja Leue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Individuals typically evaluate whether their performance and the obtained feedback match. Previous research has shown that feedback negativity (FN) depends on outcome probability and feedback valence. It is, however, less clear to what extent previous effects of outcome probability on FN depend on self-evaluations of response correctness. Therefore, we investigated the effects of outcome probability on FN amplitude in a simple go/no-go task that allowed for the self-evaluation of response correctness. We also investigated effects of performance incompatibility and feedback valence. In a sample of participants, outcome probability was manipulated by means of precues, feedback valence by means of monetary feedback, and performance incompatibility by means of feedback that induced a match versus mismatch with individuals’ performance. We found that the 100% outcome probability condition induced a more negative FN following no-loss than the 50% outcome probability condition. The FN following loss was more negative in the 50% compared to the 100% outcome probability condition. Performance-incompatible loss resulted in a more negative FN than performance-compatible loss. Our results indicate that the self-evaluation of the correctness of responses should be taken into account when the effects of outcome probability and expectation mismatch on FN are investigated.