The role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in inhibitory motor control

Ulrike M. Krämer*, Anne Kristin Solbakk, Ingrid Funderud, Marianne Løvstad, Tor Endestad, Robert T. Knight

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
40 Zitate (Scopus)


Research on inhibitory motor control has implicated several prefrontal as well as subcortical and parietal regions in response inhibition. Whether prefrontal regions are critical for inhibition, attention or task-set representation is still under debate. We investigated the influence of the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in a response inhibition task by using cognitive electrophysiology in prefrontal lesion patients. Patients and age- and education-matched controls performed in a visual Stop-signal task featuring lateralized stimuli, designed to challenge either the intact or lesioned hemisphere. Participants also underwent a purely behavioral Go/Nogo task, which included a manipulation of inhibition difficulty (blocks with 50 vs. 80% go-trials) and a Change-signal task that required switching to an alternative response. Patients and controls did not differ in their inhibitory speed (stop-signal and change-signal reaction time, SSRT and CSRT), but patients made more errors in the Go/Nogo task and showed more variable performance. The behavioral data stress the role of the PFC in maintaining inhibitory control but not in actual inhibition. These results support a dissociation between action cancellation and PFC-dependent action restraint. Laplacian transformed event-related potentials (ERPs) revealed reduced parietal activity in PFC patients in response to the stop-signals, and increased frontal activity over the intact hemisphere. This electrophysiological finding supports altered PFC-dependent visual processing of the stop-signal in parietal areas and compensatory activity in the intact frontal cortex. No group differences were found in the mu and beta decrease as measures of response preparation and inhibition at electrodes over sensorimotor cortex. Taken together, the data provide evidence for a central role of the lateral PFC in attentional control in the context of response inhibition.
Seiten (von - bis)837-849
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.01.2013


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