Expectations and violations: Delineating the neural networκ of proactive inhibitory control

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Abstract

The ability to stop a prepared response (reactive inhibition) appears to depend on the degree to which stopping is expected (proactive inhibition). Functional MRI studies have shown that activation during proactive and reactive inhibition overlaps, suggesting that the whole neural networκ for reactive inhibition becomes already activated in anticipation of stopping. However, these studies measured proactive inhibition as the effect of stop-signal probability on activation during go trials. Therefore, activation could reflect expectation of a stop-signal (evoκed by the stop-signal probability cue), but also violation of this expectation because stop-signals do not occur on go trials. We addressed this problem, using a stop-signal tasκ in which the stop-signal probability cue and the go-signal were separated in time. Hence, we could separate activation during the cue, reflecting expectation of the stop-signal, from activation during the go-signal, reflecting expectation of the stop-signal or violation of that expectation. During the cue, the striatum, the supplementary motor complex (SMC), and the midbrain activated. During the go-signal, the right inferior parietal cortex (IPC) and the right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) activated. These findings suggest that the neural networκ previously associated with proactive inhibition can be subdivided into two components. One component, including the striatum, the SMC, and the midbrain, activated during the cue, implicating this networκ in proactive inhibition. Another component, consisting of the right IPC and the right IFC, activated during the go-signal. Rather than being involved in proactive inhibition, this networκ appears to be involved in processes associated with violation of expectations. Hum Brain Mapp 34:2015–2024, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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