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Neuroreport. 2005 May 12;16(7):755-60.

Dissociation of inhibition from error processing using a parametric inhibitory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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Laboratory of Biological Dynamics and Theoretical Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.


Inhibition, the process that overrides and reverses the execution of a thought, action, or emotion, is important in daily life. Sixteen healthy volunteers performed a parametrically modulated motor inhibition task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Two results were observed: (1) increased error-related anterior cingulate cortex activation and, (2) increased inferior frontal gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex activation during inhibition, irrespective of errors. Thus, the parametric nature of the task elucidated a functional dissociation of brain structures involved in motor inhibition from those involved in error processing. Additionally, this task allowed the identification of unique areas of increased activation within specific subregions of the anterior cingulate cortex related to errors made during trials with a high (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) and low (ventral anterior cingulate cortex) inhibitory load.

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