Oct 19, 2011-- Why are some people so much more effective at learning from their mistakes? A new study by Jason Moser at Michigan State University is premised on the fact that there are two distinct reactions to mistakes, both of which can be reliably detected using EEG. The first reaction is called error-related negativity (ERN). It appears about 50 milliseconds after a screw-up and is mostly involuntary. The second signal, which is known as error positivity (Pe), arrives anywhere between 100-500 milliseconds after the mistake and is associated with awareness. The latest research suggests that we learn more effectively when we have 1) a larger ERN signal, suggesting a bigger initial response to the mistake and 2) a more consistent Pe signal, which means that we are probably paying attention to the error, and thus trying to learn from it. This Wired Magazine article delves further into the neuroscience of learning from mistakes. (12575 reads)
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