What is the Anterior Cingulate Cortex?

Got conflict? The anterior cingulate cortex is the place in your brain that monitors errors, surprises, and violated expectations.  It fires off when you do something as simple as write a sentence that you disagree with.  It’s not your moral center of your brain.  It just manages expectations in a way.  It’s simplest to think of it as the alert function in your brain.  When it’s time to divert your attention and bring something into conscious awareness, that’s your ACC at work.  In labs we would watch for findings in the event-related potential(ERP) like Error-related negativity. In case you’re craving a sneak peek at the role of anterior cingulate cortex in hypnosis here’s a study to give you a glimpse of the role of hypnosis in conflict management and the anterior cingulate cortex.  To keep it in a more complete model it’s also important to keep in mind that value based decision-making is affected by hypnosis by helping reduce the conflict.

Neurohypnotic Bonus

  1. The expected value of control: An integrative theory of anterior cingulate cortex function

  2. How do working-memory-related demand, reasoning ability and aversive reinforcement modulate conflict monitoring?

  3. Evidence for a Role for the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Disengaging from an Incorrect Action

  4. Parametric Manipulation of the Conflict Signal and Control-state Adaptation

  5. The impact of a brief mindfulness meditation intervention on cognitive control and error-related performance monitoring