UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Veto and Vacillation: A Neural Precursor of the Decision to Withhold Action.

Misirlisoy, E; Haggard, P; (2014) Veto and Vacillation: A Neural Precursor of the Decision to Withhold Action. J Cogn Neurosci , 26 (2) pp. 296-304. 10.1162/jocn_a_00479. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
jocn_a_00479.pdf

Download (230kB)

Abstract

The capacity to inhibit a planned action gives human behavior its characteristic flexibility. How this mechanism operates and what factors influence a decision to act or not act remain relatively unexplored. We used EEG readiness potentials (RPs) to examine preparatory activity before each action of an ongoing sequence, in which one action was occasionally omitted. We compared RPs between sequences in which omissions were instructed by a rule (e.g., "omit every fourth action") and sequences in which the participant themselves freely decided which action to omit. RP amplitude was reduced for actions that immediately preceded a voluntary omission but not a rule-based omission. We also used the regular temporal pattern of the action sequences to explore brain processes linked to omitting an action by time-locking EEG averages to the inferred time when an action would have occurred had it not been omitted. When omissions were instructed by a rule, there was a negative-going trend in the EEG, recalling the rising ramp of an RP. No such component was found for voluntary omissions. The results are consistent with a model in which spontaneously fluctuating activity in motor areas of the brain could bias "free" decisions to act or not.

Type: Article
Title: Veto and Vacillation: A Neural Precursor of the Decision to Withhold Action.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00479
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00479
Additional information: © 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) license.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1424999
Downloads since deposit
110Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item