Mental Processing Models and Neural Mechanisms for Response Inhibition
2010, 18 (2):
Response inhibition refers to the ability to suppress responses that are no longer required or inappropriate. It is also considered to be a key component of processing for executive control. Two models are proposed to explain the mental processing mechanisms for response inhibition, one is called the race-horse model which assumes that response and inhibition was independent of each other, and the other is the interactive horse-race mode which hypothesizes that response and inhibition were interactive. In recent years, neural mechanisms of response inhibition studies have shown that the hyperdirect pathway and the indirect pathway in front-basal ganglia system could be jointly responsible for suppressing advantage responses, and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), supplementary motor area/pre-supplementary motor area (SMA/ pre-SMA) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) might be the key brain areas for inhibition control. Moreover, there has been a closely association between response inhibition and response selection, working memory, and attention, as the brain activated by them are not only overlapped but also differentiated each other. In addition, the activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex could reflect the processing of attention and working memory associated with response inhibition. Further research is required to combine various techniques, such as brain damage, functional neural imaging and TMS, to clarify the interaction mechanisms of the above mentioned brain regions in response inhibition.
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