Inhibitory control in mind and brain: an interactive race model of countermanding saccades

Psychol Rev. 2007 Apr;114(2):376-97. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.114.2.376.


The stop-signal task has been used to study normal cognitive control and clinical dysfunction. Its utility is derived from a race model that accounts for performance and provides an estimate of the time it takes to stop a movement. This model posits a race between go and stop processes with stochastically independent finish times. However, neurophysiological studies demonstrate that the neural correlates of the go and stop processes produce movements through a network of interacting neurons. The juxtaposition of the computational model with the neural data exposes a paradox-how can a network of interacting units produce behavior that appears to be the outcome of an independent race? The authors report how a simple, competitive network can solve this paradox and provide an account of what is measured by stop-signal reaction time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain* / physiology
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Signal Detection, Psychological
  • Stochastic Processes