This study examined age-related differences in the ERP correlates of external feedback processing (i.e., the feedback-related negativity [FRN]) in adolescent and young adult males, using a simple gambling task involving unpredictable monetary losses and gains of low and high magnitude. The FRN was larger after losses than gains, and was modulated by the magnitude of gains, but not the magnitude of losses, for all participants regardless of age. FRN amplitude was larger in adolescents than adults and also discriminated relatively less strongly between gains and losses in adolescents. In addition, the morphology of the waveform after high losses suggests that feedback in this condition may have been processed less efficiently by adolescents. Our results suggest that, although the FRN in adults and adolescents share some common characteristics, the neural processes that generate the FRN are still developing in midadolescence. These findings are discussed in the context of adolescent risk taking.
- Feedback-related negativity (FRN)
- Normal volunteers