Effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate on neurophysiological correlates of performance and conflict monitoring.

Dornbierer, Dario A; Kometer, Michael; Von Rotz, Robin; Studerus, Erich; Gertsch, Jürg; Gachet Otanez, M. Salomé; Vollenweider, Franz X; Seifritz, Erich; Bosch, Oliver G; Quednow, Boris B (2019). Effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate on neurophysiological correlates of performance and conflict monitoring. European neuropsychopharmacology, 29(4), pp. 539-548. Elsevier 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.02.004

[img] Text
Effects of gamma.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

Performance and conflict monitoring (PM and CM) represent two essential cognitive abilities, required to respond appropriately to demanding tasks. PM and CM can be investigated using event-related brain potentials (ERP) and associated neural oscillations. Namely, the error-related negativity (ERN) represents a correlate of PM, whereas the N2 component reflects the process of CM. Both ERPs originate in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and PM specifically has been shown to be susceptible to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) A receptor activation. Contrarily, the specific effects of GABAB receptor (GABABR) stimulation on PM and CM are unknown. Thus, the effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB; 20 and 35 mg/kg), a predominant GABABR agonist, on behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of PM and CM were here assessed in 15 healthy male volunteers, using the Eriksen-Flanker paradigm in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data were analyzed in the time and time-frequency domains. GHB prolonged reaction times, without affecting error rates or post-error slowing. Moreover, GHB decreased ERN amplitudes and associated neural oscillations in the theta/alpha1 range. Similarly, neural oscillations associated with the N2 were reduced in the theta/alpha1 range, while N2 amplitude was conversely increased. Hence, GHB shows a dissociating effect on electrophysiological correlates of PM and CM. Reduced ERN likely derives from a GABABR-mediated increase in dopaminergic signaling, disrupting the generation of prediction errors, whereas an enhanced N2 suggests an increased susceptibility towards external stimuli. Conclusively, GHB is the first drug reported, thus far, to have opposite effects on PM and CM, underlined by its unique electrophysiological signature.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Gertsch, Jürg, Gachet Otanez, Maria Salomé


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Barbara Franziska Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2019 14:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Conflict monitoring EEG Error processing GHB Gamma-hydroxybutryrate Performance monitoring





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback