J Neurosci. 2014 Jul 16;34(29):9551-61 doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4889-13.2014.

Cortical neurodynamics of inhibitory control

Hwang K, Ghuman AS, Manoach DS, Jones SR, Luna B.


The ability to inhibit prepotent responses is critical for successful goal-directed behaviors. To investigate the neural basis of inhibitory control, we conducted a magnetoencephalography study where human participants performed the antisaccade task. Results indicated that neural oscillations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) showed significant task modulations in preparation to suppress saccades. Before successfully inhibiting a saccade, beta-band power (18-38 Hz) in the lateral PFC and alpha-band power (10-18 Hz) in the frontal eye field (FEF) increased. Trial-by-trial prestimulus FEF alpha-band power predicted successful saccadic inhibition. Further, inhibitory control enhanced cross-frequency amplitude coupling between PFC beta-band (18-38 Hz) activity and FEF alpha-band activity, and the coupling appeared to be initiated by the PFC. Our results suggest a generalized mechanism for top-down inhibitory control: prefrontal beta-band activity initiates alpha-band activity for functional inhibition of the effector and/or sensory system.

PMID: 25031398