- Effective connectivity reveals important roles for both the hyperdirect (fronto-subthalamic) and indirect (fronto-striatal-pallidal) fronto-basal ganglia pathways during response inhibition
- The Journal of Neuroscience
- Volume | Issue number
- 31 | 18
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Fronto-basal ganglia pathways play a crucial role in voluntary action control, including the ability to inhibit motor responses. Response inhibition might be mediated via a fast hyperdirect pathway connecting the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) and the presupplementary motor area (preSMA) with the subthalamic nucleus or, alternatively, via the indirect pathway between the cortex and caudate. To test the relative contribution of these two pathways to inhibitory action control, we applied an innovative quantification method for effective brain connectivity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 20 human participants performing a Simon interference task with an occasional stop signal. A single right-lateralized model involving both the hyperdirect and indirect pathways best explained the pattern of brain activation on stop trials. Notably, the overall connection strength of this combined model was highest on successfully inhibited trials. Inspection of the relationship between behavior and connection values revealed that fast inhibitors showed increased connectivity between rIFG and right caudate (rCaudate), whereas slow inhibitors were associated with increased connectivity between preSMA and rCaudate. In compliance, connection strengths from the rIFG and preSMA into the rCaudate were correlated negatively. If participants failed to stop, the magnitude of experienced interference (Simon effect), but not stopping latency, was predictive for the hyperdirect-indirect model connections. Together, the present results suggest that both the hyperdirect and indirect pathways act together to implement response inhibition, whereas the relationship between performance control and the fronto-basal ganglia connections points toward a top-down mechanism that underlies voluntary action control.
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