Response competition and response inhibition during different choice-discrimination tasks: Evidence from ERP measured inside MRI scanner

Javier J. Gonzalez-Rosa, Alberto Inuggi, Valeria Blasi, Marco Cursi, Pietro Annovazzi, Giancarlo Comi, Andrea Falini, Letizia Leocani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the neural correlates underlying response inhibition and conflict detection processes using ERPs and source localization analyses simultaneously acquired during fMRI scanning. ERPs were elicited by a simple reaction time task (SRT), a Go/NoGo task, and a Stroop-like task (CST). The cognitive conflict was thus manipulated in order to probe the degree to which information processing is shared across cognitive systems. We proposed to dissociate inhibition and interference conflict effects on brain activity by using identical Stroop-like congruent/incongruent stimuli in all three task contexts and while varying the response required. NoGo-incongruent trials showed a larger N2 and enhanced activations of rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and pre-supplementary motor area, whereas Go-congruent trials showed a larger P3 and increased parietal activations. Congruent and incongruent conditions of the CST task also elicited similar N2, P3 and late negativity (LN) ERPs, though CST-incongruent trials revealed a larger LN and enhanced prefrontal and ACC activations. Considering the stimulus probability and experimental manipulation of our study, current findings suggest that NoGo N2 and frontal NoGo P3 appear to be more associated to response inhibition rather than a specific conflict monitoring, whereas occipito-parietal P3 of Go and CST conditions may be more linked to a planned response competition between the prepared and required response. LN, however, appears to be related to higher level conflict monitoring associated with response choice-discrimination but not when the presence of cognitive conflict is associated with response inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Ballistocardiogram artefact
  • Cingulate cortex
  • Cognitive conflict
  • Cortical Current Density
  • EEG-fMRI
  • ERP
  • Go/NoGo
  • Response choice task
  • Response inhibition
  • Stroop task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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