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Cereb Cortex. 2015 Nov;25(11):4392-406. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv027. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

The Frontal Control of Stopping.

Author information

1
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
2
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3AR, UK.
3
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK.
4
Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

Abstract

Stopping is a critical aspect of brain function. Like other voluntary actions, it is defined by its context as much as by its execution. Its neural substrate must therefore reflect both. Here, we distinguish those elements of the underlying brain circuit that preferentially reflect contextual aspects of stopping from those related to its execution. Contextual complexity of stopping was modulated using a novel "Stop/Change-signal" task, which also allowed us to parameterize the duration of the stopping process. Human magnetoencephalographic activity and behavioral responses were simultaneously recorded. Whereas theta/alpha frequency activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus was most closely associated with the duration of the stopping process, earlier gamma frequency activity in the pre-supplementary motor area was unique in showing contextual modulation. These results differentiate the roles of 2 key frontal regions involved in stopping, a crucial aspect of behavioral control.

KEYWORDS:

conditional complexity; inferior frontal gyrus; magnetoencephalography; pre-supplementary motor area; stop-signal

PMID:
25754518
PMCID:
PMC4813761
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhv027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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