ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 51-60.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00051

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The Training of Inhibition Control: Content, Effect and Mechanism

ZHAO Xin; CHEN Ling; ZHANG Peng   

  1. (Behavior Rehabilitation Training Research Institution, School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China)
  • Received:2014-04-15 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-15
  • Contact: ZHAO Xin, E-mail:


Recent studies suggest that response inhibition can be modified with training. To study the effects of training, researchers often adopt a double-blind randomized controlled experimental design, in which the subjects are composed of children, adults, and special groups. In the current study, we trained response inhibition ability by utilizing go/no-go and stop-signal tasks. The intervention group received inhibitory control training consisting of 45 to 7200 trials for one to three weeks. Subsequently, the training effects were assessed by measuring behavioral parameters and brain activity using brain imaging techniques. Our study found that response inhibition ability improved after training. The behavioral modifications were accompanied by changes in brain activity. In addition, the training effects of an individual’s response inhibition ability transferred to performance in daily life. These findings are in contrast to previous reports showing that response inhibition training did not have any lasting effects. To explain this discrepancy, we have to consider multiple factors such as type of training and evaluation tasks. Further, subjects likely utilize different response strategies, which in turn influence training effects. The observed changes in behavior and brain activity caused by inhibitory control training can be explained by top-down control of inhibition and bottom-up automatic inhibition. Therefore, future research will focus on the precise comparison of training effects on response inhibition and conflict inhibition, on inhibitory control ability training in children and elderly people, as well as the long-term effects of training.

Key words: response inhibition, plasticity, mechanism