Emily R. Stern

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Complex behavior requires a flexible system that maintains task performance in the context of specific goals, evaluating behavioral progress, adjusting behavior as needed, and adapting to changing contingencies. Generically referred to as performance monitoring, a key component concerns the identification and correction of differences between an intended(More)
Some decisions are made after obtaining several pieces of information, whereas others are reached quickly. Such differences may depend on the quality of information acquired, as well as individual variability in how cautiously evidence is evaluated. The current study examined neural activity while subjects accumulated sequential pieces of evidence and then(More)
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show an increased error-related negativity (ERN), yet previous studies have not controlled for medication use, which may be important given evidence linking performance monitoring to neurotransmitter systems targeted by treatment, such as serotonin. In an examination of 19 unmedicated OCD patients, 19(More)
BACKGROUND Exaggerated concern for correct performance has been linked to hyperactivity of the medial frontal cortex (MFC) in adult obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but the role of the MFC during the early course of illness remains poorly understood. We tested whether hyperactive MFC-based performance monitoring function relates to altered MFC(More)
BACKGROUND Despite its critical role in performance-monitoring, the development of posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pMFC) in goal-directed behaviors remains poorly understood. Performance monitoring depends on distinct, but related functions that may differentially activate the pMFC, such as monitoring response conflict and detecting errors.(More)
OBJECTIVE Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by abnormalities of frontal-striatal-thalamic circuitry that appear near illness onset and persist over its course. Distinct frontal-striatal-thalamic loops through cortical centers for cognitive control (anterior cingulate cortex) and emotion processing (ventral medial frontal cortex)(More)
BACKGROUND Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show abnormal functioning in ventral frontal brain regions involved in emotional/motivational processes, including anterior insula/frontal operculum (aI/fO) and ventromedial frontal cortex (VMPFC). While OCD has been associated with an increased neural response to errors, the influence of(More)
Individual variability in the location of neural activations poses a unique problem for neuroimaging studies employing group averaging techniques to investigate the neural bases of cognitive and emotional functions. This may be especially challenging for studies examining patient groups, which often have limited sample sizes and increased intersubject(More)
Advance preparation has been shown to improve the efficiency of conflict resolution. Yet, with little empirical work directly linking preparatory neural activity to the performance benefits of advance cueing, it is not clear whether this relationship results from preparatory activation of task-specific networks, or from activity associated with general(More)
Neuromodulation shows increasing promise in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Development of tools and techniques including deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electroconvulsive therapy may yield additional options for patients who fail to respond to standard treatments. This(More)