Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2008 Nov;12(11):418-24.
doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.07.005.

Response Inhibition in the Stop-Signal Paradigm

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Review

Response Inhibition in the Stop-Signal Paradigm

Frederick Verbruggen et al. Trends Cogn Sci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Response inhibition is a hallmark of executive control. The concept refers to the suppression of actions that are no longer required or that are inappropriate, which supports flexible and goal-directed behavior in ever-changing environments. The stop-signal paradigm is most suitable for the study of response inhibition in a laboratory setting. The paradigm has become increasingly popular in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and psychopathology. We review recent findings in the stop-signal literature with the specific aim of demonstrating how each of these different fields contributes to a better understanding of the processes involved in inhibiting a response and monitoring stopping performance, and more generally, discovering how behavior is controlled.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Depiction of a trial course in the stop-signal paradigm. Tasks and task parameters in this figure are adapted from STOP-IT, which is a free-to-use stop-signal task program [74]. In the go task, subjects respond to the shape of a stimulus (a ‘square’ requires a left response and a ‘circle’ requires a right response). On one fourth of the trials, the go stimulus is followed by an auditory stop signal after a variable stop-signal delay (SSD). Subjects are instructed to respond as quickly and accurately as possible to the go stimulus on no-stop-signal trials. They are instructed to try to withhold their response on stop-signal trials, but not to wait for the stop signal to occur. On both no-stop-signal trials and stop-signal trials, the stimulus remains on the screen until subjects respond or until the maximal RT has elapsed.
Figure I (Box 1)
Figure I (Box 1)
(A) Neural activity of FEF movement neurons on no-stop-signal trials and signal-inhibit trials [55]. (B) Neural activity in SEF neurons on no-stop-signal trials and signal-inhibit trials [Data provided by J.D. Schall]
Figure II (Box 2)
Figure II (Box 2)
(A) Graphic representation of the assumptions of the independent race model [3], indicating how the probability of responding [p(respond|signal)] and the probability of inhibiting [p(inhibit|signal)] depend on stop-signal delay (SSD) (B), the distribution of go reaction times (C), and stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) (D). P(respond|signal) is represented by the area under the curve to the left of each red vertical line.
Figure III (Box 2)
Figure III (Box 2)
Graphic representation of the assumptions of the interactive race model [64], indicating how go activation on a signal-inhibit trial is inhibited when the stop unit is activated.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 285 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

Feedback