Common neural and transcriptional correlates of inhibitory control underlie emotion regulation and memory control

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2020 Jul 1;15(5):523-536. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsaa073.


Inhibitory control is crucial for regulating emotions and may also enable memory control. However, evidence for their shared neurobiological correlates is limited. Here, we report meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies on emotion regulation, or memory control and link neural commonalities to transcriptional commonalities using the Allen Human Brain Atlas (AHBA). Based on 95 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, we reveal a role of the right inferior parietal lobule embedded in a frontal-parietal-insular network during emotion regulation and memory control, which is similarly recruited during response inhibition. These co-activation patterns also overlap with the networks associated with 'inhibition', 'cognitive control' and 'working memory' when consulting the Neurosynth. Using the AHBA, we demonstrate that emotion regulation- and memory control-related brain activity patterns are associated with transcriptional profiles of a specific set of 'inhibition-related' genes. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of these 'inhibition-related' genes reveal associations with the neuronal transmission and risk for major psychiatric disorders as well as seizures and alcoholic dependence. In summary, this study identified a neural network and a set of genes associated with inhibitory control across emotion regulation and memory control. These findings facilitate our understanding of the neurobiological correlates of inhibitory control and may contribute to the development of brain stimulation and pharmacological interventions.

Keywords: emotion regulation; gene expression; inhibitory control; memory control; transcriptional network.