CoActions Lab

Cognition and Actions Lab

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inhibitionFlexibility in cognitive control requires being able to selectively navigate through continuous sets of action choices. One important aspect of cognitive control is inhibitory control, which includes the ability to refrain from reacting automatically towards preset stimulus-driven responses that are inappropriate or unsafe, to prevent or withhold internal impulses (e.g. eating unhealthy food or drinking too much alcohol), or to suddenly interrupt ongoing actions that are no longer appropriate (e.g. aborting a foot movement towards the accelerator when a pedestrian suddenly runs into the street).

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies in humans have shown that these behaviors engage processes that suppress excitability within the corticospinal tract. Inhibition of the motor output pathway has been extensively studied in the context of action stopping, where a planned movement needs to be abruptly aborted. Recent TMS work has also revealed markers of motor inhibition during the preparation of movement. Hence the motor system is not only inhibited when a movement needs to be aborted but also when it is in the process of specifying a future action. Understanding the function(s) served by such inhibition is the goal of several current research projects in the lab.

People involved:

Related publications:

  1. Duque J, Greenhouse I, Labruna L, Ivry RB. Physiological Markers of Motor Inhibition during Human Behavior. Trends Neurosci. 2017; 40(4): 219-236.
  2. Duque J, Petitjean C, Swinnen SP. Effect of Aging on Motor Inhibition during Action Preparation under Sensory Conflict. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016; 8: 322.
  3. Quoilin C, Lambert J, Jacob B, Klein PA, Duque J. Comparison of Motor Inhibition in Variants of the Instructed-Delay Choice Reaction Time Task. PLoS One. 2016; 11(8):e0161964.
  4. Klein PA, Duque J, Labruna L, Ivry RB. Comparison of the two cerebral hemispheres in inhibitory processes operative during movement preparation. Neuroimage. 2016; 125: 220-232.
  5. Duque J, Labruna L, Cazares C, Ivry RB. Dissociating the influence of response selection and task anticipation on corticospinal suppression during response preparation. Neuropsychologia. 2014; 65: 287-96.
  6. Labruna L, Lebon F, Duque J, Klein PA, Cazares C, Ivry RB. Generic inhibition of the selected movement and constrained inhibition of nonselected movements during response preparation. J Cogn Neurosci. 2014; 26(2): 269-78.
  7. Klein PA, Petitjean C, Olivier E, Duque J. Top-down suppression of incompatible motor activations during response selection under conflict. Neuroimage. 2014; 86: 138-49.
  8. Duque J, Olivier E, Rushworth M. Top-down inhibitory control exerted by the medial frontal cortex during action selection under conflict. J Cogn Neurosci. 2013; 25(10): 1634-48.
  9. Duque J, Labruna L, Verset S, Olivier E, Ivry RB. Dissociating the role of prefrontal and premotor cortices in controlling inhibitory mechanisms during motor preparation. J Neurosci. 2012; 32(3): 806-16.
  10. Duque J, Lew D, Mazzocchio R, Olivier E, Ivry RB. Evidence for two concurrent inhibitory mechanisms during response preparation. J Neurosci. 2010; 30(10): 3793-802.
  11. Duque J, Ivry RB. Role of corticospinal suppression during motor preparation. Cereb Cortex. 2009; 19(9): 2013-24.


Other research topics

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  • Hot line: +32 2 764 54 29