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Cognition in Action: Error Awareness in 70wpm typing

Pre-viva talk in Sheffield, september 10, 2021
by

Cigir Kalfaoglu

on 3 January 2014

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Transcript of Cognition in Action: Error Awareness in 70wpm typing

Take home messages
from this talk:


1) We show that error related changes precede error execution: Early error detection -> error slowing.

2) We clearly show what EEG parameters can be used as indices of performance monitoring in skilled actions like typing.

Is it interesting?
http://cognitivefun.net/test/6
vs.
Does it matter?
What do we do with the knowledge of parameters predictive of error likelihood and post-error performance adjustments?
The Question:
What happens in your head when something goes wrong?
Some vocabulary
'Your Head': Gross Electrical Changes recorded over the scalp.

'When some thing goes wrong': When you make a mistake while typing.
How does it work?
Ideal Scenario in typing:
Somato-sensory feedback from the fingers.
INPUT
PROCESS
OUTPUT

"Performance monitoring"
"Error Detection"
Ideally: Error Correction via backspace
Awareness of your actions 're-surface'
Feed-forward signals (Wolpert & Miall, 1996) from internal forward models (?)
Performance monitoring
Highly skilled actions like typing usually involve little cognitive effort.
Running really fast similarly involves a high level of sensory motor coordination but minimal awareness of those movements.
When a change in the environment requires a change in ongoing behaviour,
Introduction
Higher, cognitive mechanisms need to be engaged in order to change the ongoing behaviour adaptively.
What we already know:
Error responses are
faster
than correct responses.
Discrete trial tasks
Continuous response tasks
Flankers
Error responses are
slower
than correct responses.
What we think it means
Discrete response tasks
Error speeding is interpreted as a manifestation of speed-accuracy trade-off
Continuous response tasks
Both error and post-error slowing are interpreted as indices of performance monitoring:
Behavioural Literature
When people make errors, a change in EEG activity follows very quickly
Electro-Encephalography (EEG)
EEG Data
EEG is a complex wave

Like all complex waves, it can be decomposed into its constituent frequencies

The resulting oscillations are believed to represent neural oscillations
Frequency Information
Trial 1
Trial n
Trial 2
.
.
.
.
.
.
Objects which are not locked in space are averaged out
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
Trial 6
Trial 7
Trial 8
Trial 9
Trial 10
Average
Average
Electrical changes which are not consistently present at the time of the response are averaged out.
Time of key-press
Time of key-press
Average EEG Signals
Once the oscillations are extracted, we can plot the amplitude (power) of each oscillation to see if certain neural oscillations become engaged in response to the key-press.
EEG ANALYSIS
Short Introduction to EEG
What others did
What I did
What it means
EEG Literature
What we already know
When people make errors, neural oscillations in the 4-8Hz range (
theta band oscillations
) undergo strong increases in power.
What we think it means
ERN is an electro-physiological marker of error commission.
The Principle
:
A Short Introduction to EEG
EEG is a complex wave
Frequency Information
Trial 1
Trial n
Trial 2
.
.
.
.
.
.
Objects which are not locked in space are averaged out
Error 1
Error 2
Error 3
Error 4
Error 5
Error 6
Error 7
Error 8
Error 9
Error 10
Average
Average
Electrical changes which are not consistently present at the time of the response are averaged out.
Time of key-press
Time of key-press
Average EEG Signals
Once the oscillations are extracted, we can plot the amplitude (power) of oscillations of different frequencies
EEG ANALYSIS
Methods
Design:

Asked touch-typists to type 100 sentences

No visual feedback.

Recorded & Analyzed:
1) EEG / ICA
2) Typing speed
3) Typing accuracy
Behavioural Results
Error letters were typed
slower
than matched correct letters

Correct letters following errors were typed
slower
than correct letters
Pre-Error
Error
Error
Post-Error
Post-Error
Pre-Error
Both corrected
and

uncorrected
errors were slowed down and followed by substantial post-error slowing
ERP Analysis: ERN and Pe
Neither ERN, nor Pe are present during uncorrected errors
ERN present when errors are corrected
Pe present when errors are corrected
Corrected errors are associated with a stronger ERN and a stronger Pe than uncorrected errors
Oscillatory findings
EEG Results
Oscillations of 2-8Hz underwent significant increases power in corrected errors
Oscillations of 3-5 Hz underwent significant increases power in uncorrected errors
Increases in power associated with corrected errors was reliably stronger than that associated with uncorrected errors.
Relationship between EEG and Behavioural Measures
We found a robust relationship between theta power and error correction probability:
Error Slowing
vs. EEG measures:
Error Correction
vs. EEG measures:
Results
No relationship between how much typists slowed down during or after an error and EEG effects EXCEPT:
Error Awareness
No
Awareness
Absolute
Awareness
Awareness of errors is not a binary variable:
Proportion of Errors
Level of awareness required for slowing the performance is weaker than that for error correction via back-space.
Error Awareness
No
Awareness
Absolute
Awareness
cut-off for
slowing
cut-off for
correction
Time
Evidence accumulated about the accuracy of Response
Error Correction
Error Slowing
If error awareness drives error correction, error slowing as well as EEG effects, then why does error slowing and EEG effects dissociate?

In other words, why are uncorrected errors not associated with EEG effects, but slowed down?
Two main findings which seem to contradict:

Slowing is observed
after both corrected and uncorrected errors
(error and post-error slowing)
Strong EEG effects are observed
only after corrected errors
(not reliable after uncorrected errors).


Sensitive to
OR
Predict
1) error commission
2) error awareness
3) performance adjustments
What neural & behavioural parameters are:
Performance monitoring:
Corrected Errors vs. Correct
Uncorrected Errors vs. Correct
Corrected vs. Uncorrected Errors
Corrected Errors
vs. Correct Key-presses
Uncorrected Errors
vs. Correct Key-presses
Corrected vs.
Uncorrected Errors
Uncorrected
Corrected
Response of performance monitoring system:
Theta oscillations an important electro-physiological reflection of these processes?

1) Error correction probability ~ Theta power

2) Pre-error onset of theta burst = Error slowing
Cigir Kalfaoglu, Tom Stafford, Elizabeth Milne
University of Sheffield
Cognition in Action:
Error Awareness in Skilled Actions
ERN
Pe
ERN
Pe
Ability to detect an error, and adjust to it, when the person is not necessarily aware of the constituent sub-actions in skilled performance.
Power of a wave:
Event-Related Potentials (ERP) Analysis
1) Both corrected AND uncorrected errors are slowed down
Meaning for Current literature
Contribution:
Most important findings:
Proportion of Errors
What neural & behavioural parameters are:
Sensitive

Predict
Error
Commission
Error
Awareness
Post-Error
Adjustment
Theta power
ERN & Pe
Slowing
?
?
Theta power
ERN
Pe
ERN
Pe
At such a speed, he doesn't know where his fingers are at a given moment in time.
If so, how can he know that he made a mistake?
Behavioural parameters:
We can train people to be sensitive to those parameters to improve their performance (variance in speed, rhythm, force, etc).
Neural parameters:
Same with neural parameters:
neuro-feedback
- already being used to train surgeons to improve dexterity and concentration, and athletes for sensory motor control / coordination.
Typing 163 words per minute or more than 13.5 key-presses per second
Post-error slowing is an index of performance monitoring mechanisms: when an error is detected, the performance is slowed down.
=> Error Speeding
Post-error responses are
slower
than usual.
=> Post-error slowing.
=> Error Slowing

Post-error responses are
slower
than correct responses.
=> Post-Error Slowing
Early error detection leads to partial canceling of the error response, leading to slowed and weaker execution of the error response
Like all complex waves, it can be decomposed into its constituent waves of different frequencies.
These latent waves are believed to represent different mental processes
When multiple neurons fire in synchrony, the amplitude of the electrical impulses sum up and can be detected over the scalp.
Neurons communicate via electrical impulses.
We call it the
Error Related Negativity (ERN)
When the error reaches the awareness of the participant, the ERN is followed by an
Error Related Positivity (Pe)
Increases in theta power have been shown to predict post-error slowing in some studies.
Pe is an electro-physiological marker of error awareness
Theta oscillations can be used as indices of performance monitoring mechanisms
The stronger the theta power at the time of the error key-press, the more likely the typists were to correct their mistakes
2) Only corrected errors are associated with ERN and Pe
3) Theta power is predictive of error correction probability at a participant level
We show a clear link between error triggered theta power and post-error adaptive adjustments in performance.

Error triggered ERN and theta power burst precede the time of error commission
We show that ERN, previously thought to be related to error commission, is strongly linked to error detection.
Those uncorrected errors which were associated with theta power increases, were also the ones which were slowed down.
Level of awareness required for slowing the performance is weaker than that for error correction via back-space.

EEG Data
?
Brain is made up of neurons
Some are involved in vision, some in movement, some in cognitive functions
Full transcript