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Regular version of the site

Article

Dissociations of cognitive inhibition, response inhibition, and emotional interference: Voxelwise ALE meta-analyses of fMRI studies

Human Brain Mapping. 2018. Vol. 39. No. 10. P. 4065-4082.
Hung Y., Gaillard S. L., Yarmak P., Arsalidou M.

Inhibitory control is the stopping of a mental process with or without intention, conceptualized as

mental suppression of competing information because of limited cognitive capacity. Inhibitory control

dysfunction is a core characteristic of many major psychiatric disorders. Inhibition is generally

thought to involve the prefrontal cortex; however, a single inhibitory mechanism is insufficient for

interpreting the heterogeneous nature of human cognition. It remains unclear whether different

dimensions of inhibitory processes—specifically cognitive inhibition, response inhibition, and emotional

interference—rely on dissociated neural systems. We conducted systematic meta-analyses of

fMRI studies in the BrainMap database supplemented by PubMed using whole-brain activation

likelihood estimation. A total of 66 study experiments including 1,447 participants and 987 foci

revealed that while the left anterior insula was concordant in all inhibitory dimensions, cognitive

inhibition reliably activated specific dorsal frontal inhibitory system, engaging dorsal anterior cingulate,

dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and parietal areas, whereas emotional interference reliably

implicated a ventral inhibitory system, involving the ventral surface of the inferior frontal gyrus and

the amygdala. Response inhibition showed concordant clusters in the fronto-striatal system, including

the dorsal anterior cingulate region and extended supplementary motor areas, the dorsal and

ventral lateral prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia, midbrain regions, and parietal regions. We provide

an empirically derived dimensional model of inhibition characterizing neural systems underlying different

aspects of inhibitory mechanisms. This study offers a fundamental framework to advance

current understanding of inhibition and provides new insights for future clinical research into

disorders with different types of inhibition-related dysfunctions.