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Neuroimage. 2016 Jul 1;134:466-474. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.055. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

A dual but asymmetric role of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in response inhibition and switching from a non-salient to salient action.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, United States; Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790, United States.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, United States.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519; Medical Service, VA Connecticut Health Care System, West Haven, CT 06516, United States.
4
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11790, United States.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06519, United States; Department of Neuroscience, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, United States; Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, United States. Electronic address: chiang-shan.li@yale.edu.

Abstract

Response inhibition and salience detection are among the most studied psychological constructs of cognitive control. Despite a growing body of work, how inhibition and salience processing interact and engage regional brain activations remains unclear. Here, we examined this issue in a stop signal task (SST), where a prepotent response needs to be inhibited to allow an alternative, less dominant response. Sixteen adult individuals performed two versions of the SST each with 25% (SST25) and 75% (SST75) of stop trials. We posited that greater regional activations to the infrequent trial type in each condition (i.e., to stop as compared to go trials in SST25 and to go as compared to stop trials in SST75) support salience detection. Further, successful inhibition in stop trials requires attention to the stop signal to trigger motor inhibition, and the stop signal reaction time (SSRT) has been used to index the efficiency of motor response inhibition. Therefore, greater regional activations to stop as compared to go success trials in association with the stop signal reaction time (SSRT) serve to expedite response inhibition. In support of an interactive role, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) increases activation to salience detection in both SST25 and SST75, but only mediates response inhibition in SST75. Thus, infrequency response in the dACC supports motor inhibition only when stopping has become a routine. In contrast, although the evidence is less robust, the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) increases activity to the infrequent stimulus and supports inhibition in both SST25 and SST75. These findings clarify a unique role of the dACC and add to the literature that distinguishes dACC and pre-SMA functions in cognitive control.

KEYWORDS:

Conflict; Inhibitory control; Task switching; fMRI, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex

PMID:
27126003
PMCID:
PMC4912860
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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