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Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jan 15;63(2):184-90. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Anterior cingulate cortex and benefit of predictive cueing on response inhibition in stimulant dependent individuals.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.



Methamphetamine dependence (MD) is associated with impaired response inhibition and with structural abnormalities and functional hypoactivity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The need to inhibit behavior is often forewarned by cues that do not call for immediate inhibition. We sought to determine whether such cues would engage the ACC and improve inhibition in MD individuals.


We used functional MRI to measure ACC activation during performance of a go/nogo response inhibition task in which certain go stimuli (cues) were much more likely than others (noncues) to be followed by nogo trials. Nineteen MD individuals (inpatient treatment, 25-50 days abstinence) were compared with 19 age- and education-matched healthy comparison (HC) subjects.


MD and HC groups had statistically comparable performance, but only MD participants showed an ACC response and lower false alarm rates associated with cues as compared with noncues. Cue-related ACC activity in MD subjects was positively correlated with this cue-related improvement in inhibitory performance.


The ACC, an area associated with error detection and response conflict, may predict the degree to which advance warning may attenuate MD individuals' difficulty with response inhibition.

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