Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Mounting evidence suggests that response inhibition involves both proactive and reactive inhibitory control, yet its underlying neural mechanisms remain elusive. In particular, the roles of the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and inferior parietal lobe (IPL) in proactive and reactive inhibitory control are still under debate. This study aimed at examining the causal role of the right IFG and IPL in proactive and reactive inhibitory control, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and the stop signal task. Twenty-two participants completed three sessions of the stop signal task, under anodal tDCS in the right IFG, the right IPL, or the primary visual cortex (VC; 1.5 mA for 15 min), respectively. The VC stimulation served as the active control condition. The tDCS effect for each condition was calculated as the difference between pre- and post-tDCS performance. Proactive control was indexed by the RT increase for go trials (or preparatory cost), and reactive control by the stop signal RT. Compared to the VC stimulation, anodal stimulation of the right IFG, but not that of the IPL, facilitated both proactive and reactive control. However, the facilitation of reactive control was not mediated by the facilitation of proactive control. Furthermore, tDCS did not affect the intraindividual variability in go RT. These results suggest a causal role of the right IFG, but not the right IPL, in both reactive and proactive inhibitory control.