Continuous force measurements reveal no inhibitory control deficits in Parkinson’s disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Suppression of unwanted motor responses can be disrupted by Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s (PwP) can show maladaptive reward-driven behaviours in the form of impulse con-trol behaviours, which are associated with use of the dopaminergic treatments used to alleviate the motor symptoms of the disease. However, the effects of Parkinson’s itself on impulsive be-haviour and control are unclear – empirical studies have yielded mixed findings, and some im-aging studies have shown a functional deficit in the absence of a measurable change in behav-iour. Here, we investigated the effects of Parkinson’s on response activation and control by studying the dynamics of response in standard inhibitory control tasks – the Stop Signal and Simon tasks – using a continuous measure of response force. Our results are largely in favour of the conclusion that response inhibition appears to be intact in PwP, even when using a more sen-sitive measure of behavioural control relative to traditional button-press measures. Our findings provide some clarity as to the effects of Parkinson’s on response inhibition and show continu-ous response force measurement can provide a sensitive means of detecting erroneous response activity in PwP, which could also be generalised to studying related processes in other popula-tions.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental brain research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Mar 2020