Proactive inhibitory control: a general biasing account
Chambers, Christopher D.
© 2016. The authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Flexible behaviour requires a control system that can inhibit actions in response to changes in the environment. Recent studies suggest that people proactively adjust response parameters in anticipation of a stop signal. In three experiments, we tested the hypothesis that proactive inhibitory control involves adjusting both attentional and response settings, and we explored the relationship with other forms of proactive and anticipatory control. Subjects responded to the color of a stimulus. On some trials, an extra signal occurred. The response to this signal depended on the task context subjects were in: in the ‘ignore’ context, they ignored it; in the ‘stop’ context, they had to withhold their response; and in the ‘double-response’ context, they executed a secondary response. An analysis of event-related brain potentials for no-signal trials in the stop context revealed that proactive inhibitory control works by biasing the settings of lower-level systems that are involved in stimulus detection, action selection, and action execution. Furthermore, subjects made similar adjustments in the double-response and stop-signal contexts, indicating an overlap between various forms of proactive action control. The results of Experiment 1 also suggest an overlap between proactive inhibitory control and preparatory control in task-switching studies: both require reconfiguration of task-set parameters to bias or alter subordinate processes. We conclude that much of the top-down control in response inhibition tasks takes place before the inhibition signal is presented.
European Research Council (ERC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Author's manuscript version. The version of record is available from the publisher website via doi 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2016.01.004 (forthcoming)
Related dataset is available via: https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/19336
Volume 86, May 2016, pp. 27–61