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Hum Brain Mapp. 2005 Jul;25(3):336-44.

Function of striatum beyond inhibition and execution of motor responses.

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  • 1Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Department of Psychiatry, Heidelberglaan Utrecht, The Netherlands. M.Vink@azu.nl


We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the role of the striatum in inhibitory motor control. Subjects had to refrain from responding to designated items (STOP trials) within a similar series of motor stimuli. Striatal activation was increased significantly compared to that when responding to all targets within a series of motor stimuli, indicating that the striatum is more active when inhibitory motor control over responses is required. The likelihood of a STOP trial was varied parametrically by varying the number of GO trials before a STOP trial. We could thus measure the effect of expecting a STOP trial on the fMRI response in the striatum. We show for the first time in humans that the striatum becomes more active when the likelihood of inhibiting a planned motor response increases. Our findings suggest that the striatum is critically involved in inhibitory motor control, most likely by controlling the execution of planned motor responses.

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