Francesca Bonini, Boris Burle, Catherine Liégeois-Chauvel, Jean Régis, Patrick Chauvel, Franck Vidal
Science 21 February 2014: Vol. 343 no. 6173 pp. 888-891
The capacity to evaluate the outcomes of our actions is fundamental for adapting and optimizing behavior and depends on an action-monitoring system that assesses ongoing actions and detects errors. The neuronal network underlying this executive function, classically attributed to the rostral cingulate zone, is poorly characterized in humans, owing to the limited number of direct neurophysiological data. Using intracerebral recordings, we show that the leading role is played by the supplementary motor area (SMA), which rapidly evaluates successful and erroneous actions. The rostral part of medial prefrontal cortex, driven by the SMA, was activated later and exclusively in the case of errors. This suggests a hierarchical organization of the different frontal regions involved in implementation of action monitoring and error processing.