Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
We investigated whether people monitor the outcomes of their own and their partners' individual actions as well as the outcome of their combined actions when performing joint actions together. Pairs of pianists memorized both parts of a piano duet. Each pianist then performed one part while their partner performed the other; EEG was recorded from both. Auditory outcomes (pitches) associated with keystrokes produced by the pianists were occasionally altered in a way that either did or did not affect the joint auditory outcome (i.e., the harmony of a chord produced by the two pianists' combined pitches). Altered auditory outcomes elicited a feedback-related negativity whether they occurred in the pianist's own part or the partner's part, and whether they affected individual or joint action outcomes. Altered auditory outcomes also elicited a P300 whose amplitude was larger when the alteration affected the joint outcome compared with individual outcomes and when the alteration affected the pianist's own part compared with the partner's part. Thus, musicians engaged in joint actions monitor their own and their partner's actions as well as their combined action outcomes, while at the same time maintaining a distinction between their own and others' actions and between individual and joint outcomes.