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Cereb Cortex. 2009 Jan;19(1):134-45. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhn063. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Sensory MEG responses predict successful and failed inhibition in a stop-signal task.

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Leibniz-Institute for Neurobiology, 39118 Magdeburg, Germany.


In the present study magnetoencephalographic recordings were performed to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the stopping of manual responses. Subjects performed in a Stop-signal task in which Go-stimuli (S1), requiring a rapid motor response, were sometimes rapidly followed by a Stop-stimulus (S2) indicating to withhold the already initiated response to S1. Success of stopping strongly depended on the early perceptual processing of S1 and S2 reflected by the magnetic N1 component. Enhanced processing of S1 facilitated the execution of the movement, whereas enhanced processing of S2 favored its inhibition. This suggests that the processing resources for the subsequent stimuli are limited and need to be shared. This sharing of resources appeared to arise from adjustments made on a trial-by-trial basis, in that systematic reaction time prolongations on Go-trials following Stop-trials versus following Go-trials were accompanied by attenuated sensory processing to the Go-stimulus similar to that seen in successful versus unsuccessful stopping in Stop-trials.

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