Cortical and subcortical functional specificity associated with response inhibition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Leah Maizey
  • C. John Evans
  • Frederick Verbruggen
  • Christopher Chambers
  • Christopher Allen


Is motor response inhibition supported by a specialised neuronal inhibitory control mechanism, or by a more general system of action updating? This pre-registered study employed a context-cueing paradigm requiring both inhibitory and non-inhibitory action updating in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging to test the specificity of responses under different updating conditions, including the cancellation of actions. Cortical regions of activity were found to be common to multiple forms of action updating. However, functional specificity during response inhibition was observed in the anterior right inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, fronto-subcortical activity was explored using a novel contrast method. These exploratory results indicate that the specificity for response inhibition observed in right prefrontal cortex continued downstream and was observed in right hemisphere subcortical activity, while left hemisphere activity was associated with right-hand response execution. Overall, our findings reveal both common and distinct correlates of response inhibition in prefrontal cortex, with exploratory analyses supporting putative models of subcortical pathways and extending them through the demonstration of lateralisation.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020