Brain responses to outcomes of one's own and other's performance in a gambling task

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Previous studies find that the feedback-related negativity in brain potentials is sensitive to the negative outcome of one's own performance. The feedback-related negativity is suggested to reflect the learning processes using feedback about the consequences of recent actions. Learning can also take place when one observes other people's actions and the associated outcomes. We recorded brain potentials while the participant received outcome feedback for their own or for another person's performance in a gambling task. The feedback-related negativity or the feedback-related negativity-like effects were obtained in both situations, suggesting that similar neural mechanisms are involved in evaluating the outcomes of one's own and the other's actions. Thus, the neural processes in learning-by-observation resemble those in learning-by-doing.

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