Sequential inhibitory control processes assessed through simultaneous EEG–fMRI

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Abstract

Inhibitory response control has been extensively investigated in both electrophysiological (ERP) and hemodynamic (fMRI) studies. However, very few multimodal results address the coupling of these inhibition markers. In fMRI, response inhibition has been most consistently linked to activation of the anterior insula and inferior frontal cortex (IFC), often also the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). ERP work has established increased N2 and P3 amplitudes during NoGo compared to Go conditions in most studies. Previous simultaneous EEG–fMRI imaging reported association of the N2/P3 complex with activation of areas like the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and anterior insula. In this study we investigated inhibitory control in 23 healthy young adults (mean age = 24.7, n = 17 for EEG during fMRI) using a combined Flanker/NoGo task during simultaneous EEG and fMRI recording. Separate fMRI and ERP analysis yielded higher activation in the anterior insula, IFG and ACC as well as increased N2 and P3 amplitudes during NoGo trials in accordance with the literature. Combined analysis modelling sequential N2 and P3 effects through joint parametric modulation revealed correlation of higher N2 amplitude with deactivation in parts of the default mode network (DMN) and the cingulate motor area (CMA) as well as correlation of higher central P3 amplitude with activation of the left anterior insula, IFG and posterior cingulate. The EEG–fMRI results resolve the localizations of these sequential activations. They suggest a general role for allocation of attentional resources and motor inhibition for N2 and link memory recollection and internal reflection to P3 amplitude, in addition to previously described response inhibition as reflected by the anterior insula.

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