Negative correlation between right prefrontal activity during response inhibition and impulsiveness: a fMRI study

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Aug;254(4):245-51. doi: 10.1007/s00406-004-0488-z.


Behavioral disinhibition in Go/No-Go task is thought to be associated with impulsiveness in humans. Recent imaging studies showed that neural circuits involving diverse areas of the frontal cortex and other association cortex sites such as the parietal cortex are implicated in the inhibition of response during No-Go trials. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between regional cerebral activation during No-Go trials and impulsiveness. Seventeen right-handed healthy volunteers participated in the study. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the brain activation during a Go/No-Go task. The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, 11(th) version (BIS-11) was used to measure impulsiveness. Activated regions included the right middle frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobe, which is consistent with previous neuroimaging studies. A negative correlation was observed between the motor impulsiveness of BIS-11 and No-Go-related activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (RDLPFC). Our results suggest that the RDLPFC is the area most sensitive to differences in individual motor impulsiveness and its activity may be an indicator of the individual capacity for response inhibition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiopathology*
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Prefrontal Cortex / blood supply
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology


  • Oxygen