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The pre-supplementary motor area achieves inhibitory control by modulating response thresholds
Cortex, Volume: 152, Pages: 98 - 108
Swansea University Author: Jiaxiang Zhang
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The pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) is central for the initiation and inhibition of voluntary action. For the execution of action, the pre-SMA optimises the decision of which action to choose by adjusting the thresholds for the required evidence for each choice. However, it remains unclear ho...
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The pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) is central for the initiation and inhibition of voluntary action. For the execution of action, the pre-SMA optimises the decision of which action to choose by adjusting the thresholds for the required evidence for each choice. However, it remains unclear how the pre-SMA contributes to action inhibition. Here, we use computational modelling of a stop/no-go task, performed by an adult with a focal lesion in the pre-SMA, and 52 age-matched controls. We show that the patient required more time to successfully inhibit an action (longer stop-signal reaction time) but was faster in terms of go reaction times. Computational modelling revealed that the patient's failure to stop was explained by a significantly lower response threshold for initiating an action, as compared to controls, suggesting that the patient needed less evidence before committing to an action. A similarly specific impairment was also observed for the decision of which action to choose. Together, our results suggest that dynamic threshold modulation may be a general mechanism by which the pre-SMA exerts its control over voluntary action.
Pre-SMA; Inhibitory control; Voluntary action; Bayesian hierarchical modelling; Focal lesion
Faculty of Science and Engineering
This work was supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative (Scholar Award to JBR in Understanding Human Cognition) and the Wellcome Trust (103838). NW is funded by a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF-2019-14-013). JBR is supported by the Medical Research Council intramural programme (SUAG/051 G101400). FHH was supported by a Cambridge Trust Vice-Chancellor's Award and Fitzwilliam College Scholarship.