Current advances and pressing problems in studies of stopping

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Dec;22(6):1012-21. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


The stop-signal task probes agents' ability to inhibit responding. A well-known race model affords estimation of the duration of the inhibition process. This powerful approach has yielded numerous insights into the neural circuitry underlying response control, the specificity of inhibition across effectors and response strategies, and executive processes such as performance monitoring. Translational research between human and non-human primates has been particularly useful in this venture. Continued progress with the stop-signal paradigm is contingent upon appreciating the dynamics of entire cortical and subcortical neural circuits and obtaining neurophysiological data from each node in the circuit. Progress can also be anticipated on extensions of the race model to account for selective stopping; we expect this will entail embedding behavioral inhibition in the broader context of executive control.

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

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neurobiology / trends
  • Primates
  • Translational Medical Research / trends