Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
The go/no-go task, which effectively taps the ability to inhibit prepotent response tendency, has consistently activated the lateral prefrontal cortex, particularly the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). On the other hand, rIFG activation has rarely been reported in the antisaccade task, seemingly an oculomotor version of the manual go/no-go task. One possible explanation for the variable IFG activation is the modality difference of the two tasks: The go/no-go task is performed manually, whereas the antisaccade task is performed in the oculomotor modality. Another explanation is that these two tasks have different task structures that require different cognitive processes: The traditional antisaccade task requires (i) configuration of a preparatory set prior to antisaccade execution and (ii) response inhibition at the time of antisaccade execution, whereas the go/no-go task requires heightened response inhibition under a minimal preparatory set. To test these possibilities, the traditional antisaccade task was modified in the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study such that it required heightened response inhibition at the time of antisaccade execution under a minimal preparatory set. Prominent activation related to response inhibition was observed in multiple frontoparietal regions, including the rIFG. Moreover, meta-analyses revealed that the rIFG activation in the present study was observed in the go/no-go tasks but not in the traditional antisaccade task, indicating that the rIFG activation was sensitive to the task structure difference, but not to the response modality difference. These results suggest that the rIFG is part of a network active during response inhibition across different response modalities.