Noradrenergic stimulation enhances human action monitoring

Jordi Riba, Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells, Adelaida Morte, Thomas F. Münte, Manel J. Barbanoj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Noradrenergic neurotransmission has been associated with the modulation of higher cognitive functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex. In the present study, the impact of noradrenergic stimulation on the human action-monitoring system, as indexed by event-related brain potentials, was examined. After the administration of a placebo or the selective α2-adrenoceptor antagonist yohimbine, which stimulates firing in the locus ceruleus and noradrenaline release, electroencephalograpic recordings were obtained from healthy volunteers performing a letter flanker task. Yohimbine led to an increase in the amplitude of the error-related negativity in conjunction with a significant reduction of action errors. Reaction times were unchanged, and the drug did not modify the N2 in congruent versus incongruent trials, a measure of preresponse conflict, or posterror adjustments as measured by posterror slowing of reaction time. The present findings suggest that the locus ceruleus-noradrenaline system exerts a rather specific effect on human action monitoring. Copyright © 2005 Society for Neuroscience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4370-4374
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2005


  • Action monitoring
  • ERN
  • Human
  • Noradrenaline
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Yohimbine


Dive into the research topics of 'Noradrenergic stimulation enhances human action monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this