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Description: Humans typically slow their actions after errors (post-error slowing, PES). Some suggest that PES is a side effect of the unexpected, surprising nature of errors, challenging the notion of a genuine error processing system in the human brain. Here, we used multi-variate EEG decoding to identify behavioral and neural processes uniquely related to error processing. Action slowing occurred following both action-errors and error-unrelated surprise when time to prepare the next response was short. However, when there was more time to react, only errors were followed by slowing, further reflected in sustained neural activity. This suggests that error and surprise initially share common processing, but that after additional time, error-specific, adaptive processes take over.


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