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Neuroscience. 2017 Aug 15;357:273-284. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.06.011. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Distinct neural processes support post-success and post-error slowing in the stop signal task.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States; Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Oswego, NY, United States.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China. Electronic address: xiaoying@bit.edu.cn.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States; Department of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States; Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States; Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, Beijing, China. Electronic address: chiang-shan.li@yale.edu.

Abstract

Executive control requires behavioral adaptation to environmental contingencies. In the stop signal task (SST), participants exhibit slower go trial reaction time (RT) following a stop trial, whether or not they successfully interrupt the motor response. In previous fMRI studies, we demonstrated activation of the right-hemispheric ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, in the area of inferior frontal gyrus, pars opercularis (IFGpo) and anterior insula (AI), during post-error slowing (PES). However, in similar analyses we were not able to identify regional activities during post-success slowing (PSS). Here, we revisited this issue in a larger sample of participants (n=100) each performing the SST for 40 min during fMRI. We replicated IFGpo/AI activation to PES (p≤0.05, FWE corrected). Further, PSS engages decreased activation in a number of cortical regions including the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC; p≤0.05, FWE corrected). We employed Granger causality mapping to identify areas that provide inputs each to the right IFGpo/AI and left IFC, and computed single-trial amplitude (STA) of stop trials of these input regions as well as the STA of post-stop trials of the right IFGpo/AI and left IFC. The STAs of the right inferior precentral sulcus and supplementary motor area (SMA) and right IFGpo/AI were positively correlated and the STAs of the left SMA and left IFC were positively correlated (slope>0, p's≤0.01, one-sample t test), linking regional responses during stop success and error trials to those during PSS and PES. These findings suggest distinct neural mechanisms to support PSS and PES.

KEYWORDS:

cognitive control; error processing; fMRI; go/no-go; post-signal slowing

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