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. 2009 Nov;71(2):72-83.
doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 May 7.

The Neural Basis of Cognitive Control: Response Selection and Inhibition

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Free PMC article

The Neural Basis of Cognitive Control: Response Selection and Inhibition

Vina M Goghari et al. Brain Cogn. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The functional neuroanatomy of tasks that recruit different forms of response selection and inhibition has to our knowledge, never been directly addressed in a single fMRI study using similar stimulus-response paradigms where differences between scanning time and sequence, stimuli, and experimenter instructions were minimized. Twelve right-handed participants were scanned on two standard cognitive control tasks, a stimulus-response incompatibility task, and a response inhibition task. A compound trial design allowed comparison of preparing to inhibit an upcoming automatic response to wholly inhibiting an automatic response. Furthermore, inhibiting an automatic response to perform an alternative task-relevant response was compared to wholly inhibiting an automatic response. No differences were found in prefrontal activity when preparing to inhibit an automatic response was compared to wholly inhibiting an automatic response, suggesting a mostly common network. The left inferior frontal gyrus was found to be commonly recruited during both tasks when controlled responses were required, likely due to its role in response selection. In contrast, the right inferior frontal gyrus was found to be more involved when task demands were stronger for response inhibition. Our results are largely consistent with models of cognitive control that postulate that separate psychological constructs, such as response selection and inhibition, are related processes largely served by a common prefrontal network. This prefrontal network is recruited to a greater or lesser extent depending on specific task demands.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The Stimulus Response Reversal Task (SRRT). Trials began with a colored square indicating whether to respond on the same side (green or automatic condition) or on the opposite side (red or cognitive control condition) when the subsequent directional word (Left or Right) appeared. In the example trial illustrated, participants would respond with the right button. Go/NoGo variant. Trials began with a directional word (Left or Right) followed by colored circle (green or automatic condition, red or cognitive control condition). A green circle indicated respond on the same side as the directional word. A red circle indicated the response should be withheld. In the example trial illustrated, participants would inhibit their response. ISI (interstimulus interval) and ITI (intertrial interval) values ranged from 2000, 2250, 2750, 3250, 3750, 4000 ms.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Activations for the Stimulus Response Reversal Task (SRRT) for cognitive control greater than automatic condition response-related activity. Abbreviations: R=Right; L=Left. Images were thresholded at p<0.005, 11 degrees of freedom, with a contiguity threshold of 8.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Activations for the Go/NoGo variant for cognitive control greater than automatic condition response-related activity. Abbreviations: R=Right; L=Left. Images were thresholded at p<0.005, 11 degrees of freedom, with a contiguity threshold of 8.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Activations for Stimulus Response Reversal Task (SRRT) and Go/NoGo variant for cognitive control greater than automatic condition response-related activity. Images were thresholded at p<0.005, 11 degrees of freedom, with a contiguity threshold of 8.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Shared and unique activations for the Stimulus Response Reversal Task (SRRT) and Go/NoGo variant for cognitive control greater than automatic condition response-related activity. Images were thresholded at p<0.005, 11 degrees of freedom, with a contiguity threshold of 8. Shared component: Left inferior frontal (BA 44/45; x=−49, y=17, z=21; cluster size=8 voxels). Unique component: Right inferior frontal (BA 44; x=46, y=11, z=10; cluster size=8 voxels, Max t=4.05).

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