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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

December 2010, Vol. 22, No. 12, Pages 2804-2812
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2010.21416)
© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Inhibitory Control and the Frontal Eye Fields
Article PDF (237.58 KB)

Inhibitory control mechanisms are important in a range of behaviors to prevent execution of motor acts which, having been planned, are no longer necessary. Ready examples of this can be seen in a range of sports, such as cricket and baseball, where the choice between execution or inhibition of a bat swing must be made in a brief time interval. The role of the FEFs, an area typically described in relation to eye movement functions but also involved in visual processes, was investigated in an inhibitory control task using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). A stop signal task with manual responses was used, providing measures of impulsivity and inhibitory control. TMS over FEF had no effect on response generation (impulsivity, indexed by go signal RT) but disrupted inhibitory control (indexed by stop signal RT). This is the first demonstration of a role for FEF in this type of task in normal subjects in a task which did not require eye movements and complements previous TMS findings of roles for pre-SMA and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in inhibitory control.