Article

The Role of Stimulus Salience and Attentional Capture Across the Neural Hierarchy in a Stop-Signal Task

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 10/2011; 6(10):e26386. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026386
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inhibitory motor control is a core function of cognitive control. Evidence from diverse experimental approaches has linked this function to a mostly right-lateralized network of cortical and subcortical areas, wherein a signal from the frontal cortex to the basal ganglia is believed to trigger motor-response cancellation. Recently, however, it has been recognized that in the context of typical motor-control paradigms those processes related to actual response inhibition and those related to the attentional processing of the relevant stimuli are highly interrelated and thus difficult to distinguish. Here, we used fMRI and a modified Stop-signal task to specifically examine the role of perceptual and attentional processes triggered by the different stimuli in such tasks, thus seeking to further distinguish other cognitive processes that may precede or otherwise accompany the implementation of response inhibition. In order to establish which brain areas respond to sensory stimulation differences by rare Stop-stimuli, as well as to the associated attentional capture that these may trigger irrespective of their task-relevance, we compared brain activity evoked by Stop-trials to that evoked by Go-trials in task blocks where Stop-stimuli were to be ignored. In addition, region-of-interest analyses comparing the responses to these task-irrelevant Stop-trials, with those to typical relevant Stop-trials, identified separable activity profiles as a function of the task-relevance of the Stop-signal. While occipital areas were mostly blind to the task-relevance of Stop-stimuli, activity in temporo-parietal areas dissociated between task-irrelevant and task-relevant ones. Activity profiles in frontal areas, in turn, were activated mainly by task-relevant Stop-trials, presumably reflecting a combination of triggered top-down attentional influences and inhibitory motor-control processes.

0 Followers
 · 
208 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by impulsive behaviors. Impulsivity as used in clinical terms is very broadly defined and entails different categories including personality traits as well as different cognitive functions such as emotion regulation or interference reso-lution and impulse control. Impulse control as an executive function, however, is neither cognitively nor neurobehaviorally a unitary function. Recent findings from behavioral and cognitive neuroscience studies suggest related but dissociable components of impulse control along functional domains like selective attention, response selection, motivational control, and behavioral inhibition. In addition, behavioral and neural dissociations are seen for proactive vs. reactive inhibitory motor control.The prefrontal cortex with its sub-regions is the central structure in executing these impulse control functions. Based on these con-cepts of impulse control, neurobehavioral findings of studies in BPD and ADHD were reviewed and systematically compared. Overall, patients with BPD exhibited prefrontal dysfunctions across impulse control components rather in orbitofrontal, dorsomedial, and dorsolateral prefrontal regions, whereas patients with ADHD displayed disturbed activity mainly in ventrolateral and medial prefrontal regions. Prefrontal dysfunctions, however, varied depending on the impulse control component and from disorder to disorder. This suggests a dissociation of impulse control related frontal dysfunctions in BPD and ADHD, although only few studies are hitherto available to assess frontal dysfunctions along differ-ent impulse control components in direct comparison of these disorders.Yet, these findings might serve as a hypothesis for the future systematic assessment of impulse control com-ponents to understand differences and commonalities of prefrontal cortex dysfunction in impulsive disorders.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:698. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00698 · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In everyday life, people use self-control to withhold actions. This ability is particularly important when the consequences of action withholding have an impact on the individual's well-being. Despite its importance, it is unclear as to how the neural nodes implicated in action withholding contribute to this real-world type of self-control. By modifying an action withholding paradigm, the go/no-go task, we examined how the brain exerts self-control during a scenario in which the implications of withholding an action are meaningful and motivationally significant. A successfully withheld response contributed to long-term monetary rewards, whereas failure to withhold a response incurred an immediate monetary punishment. Compared with neutral action withholding, participants significantly improved their performance when these contingencies were applied. Crucially, although the right IFG and pre-SMA were found to promote overall action withholding, the enhancement in behavioral performance relative to a neutral condition was only reflected by a physiological change in a region encompassing the right inferior frontal junction and precentral gyrus. We speculate that the ability to flexibly modulate attention to goal-relevant stimuli is crucial to enhanced, motivationally driven action withholding and that this ability is subserved by the right inferior frontal junction. These findings suggest that control-modulating factors, rather than action withholding processes per se, can be critical to improving motivationally significant action withholding outcomes.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 08/2014; DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00695 · 4.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Impulsivity has been linked to three main factors: performing without direct involvement of the frontal lobe functions, an increase in the speed of response, and the acquisition of immediate gratification. This behavioral inhibition deficit involves a variety of behaviors including aspects of hyperexcitability, behavioral disinhibition and higher order decision making. Although by tradition, the definition of this executive function has been conceptualized from a psychopathological view, currently, the wide variety of neuropsychological, developmental and animal models assessment techniques encourage us to establish dialogues that integrate the knowledge of these theoretical perspectives for the interpretation and understanding of impulsivity.
    Avances en Psicologia Latinoamericana 04/2013; 31(1):241-251.

Full-text (3 Sources)

Download
23 Downloads
Available from
May 26, 2014