Horse-race model simulations of the stop-signal procedure

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2003 Feb;112(2):105-42. doi: 10.1016/s0001-6918(02)00079-3.


In the stop-signal paradigm, subjects perform a standard two-choice reaction task in which, occasionally and unpredictably, a stop-signal is presented requiring the inhibition of the response to the choice signal. The stop-signal paradigm has been successfully applied to assess the ability to inhibit under a wide range of experimental conditions and in various populations. The current study presents a set of evidence-based guidelines for using the stop-signal paradigm. The evidence was derived from a series of simulations aimed at (a) examining the effects of experimental design features on inhibition indices, and (b) testing the assumptions of the horse-race model that underlies the stop-signal paradigm. The simulations indicate that, under most conditions, the latency, but not variability, of response inhibition can be reliably estimated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Horses*
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Motor Skills*
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Perception*