Monitoring the correspondence between the intended and actually executed action, a fundamental mechanism of behavioral regulation, is reflected by error-related negativity (ERN), an ERP component generated by the anterior cingulate cortex. This study examined genetic influences on the ERN and other components related to action monitoring (correct negativity, CRN, and error positivity, Pe). A flanker task was administered to adolescent twins (age 12) including 99 monozygotic (MZ) and 175 dizygotic (DZ) pairs. Genetic analysis showed substantial heritability of all three ERP components (40%-60%) and significant genetic correlations between them. This study provides the first evidence for heritable individual differences in the neural substrates of action monitoring and suggests that ERN, CRN, and Pe can potentially serve as endophenotypes for genetic studies of personality traits and psychopathology associated with abnormal regulation of behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-534
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Action monitoring
  • ERN
  • Heritability
  • Individual differences


Dive into the research topics of 'Heritability of frontal brain function related to action monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this