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Intentional inhibition of actions in humans

Misirlisoy, E; (2015) Intentional inhibition of actions in humans. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

A crucial component of human behavioural flexibility is the capacity to inhibit actions at the last moment before action execution. This behavioural inhibition is often not an immediate reaction to external stimuli, but rather an endogenous ‘free’ decision. Knowledge about such ‘intentional inhibition’ is currently limited, with most research focused on stimulus-driven inhibition. This thesis will examine intentional inhibition, using several different experimental approaches. The behavioural experiments reported in the initial chapters found that intentional inhibition directly alters sensory processing during decision-making. In addition, there were unique effects of prior event sequences on subsequent decisions to either act or inhibit. Brain imaging methods using EEG and fMRI showed distinct neural mechanisms associated with intentional inhibition, which did not apply to rule-based inhibition. Work with Tourette syndrome patients indicated that the intentional inhibition of involuntary motor tics affects brain activity associated with voluntary actions. Furthermore, attentional manipulation strategies were shown to be highly effective in reducing tics, which may open up alternative behavioural treatment approaches for tic disorders. This thesis concludes by demonstrating that intentional inhibition is a bona fide cognitive function worth studying. It also develops a cognitive model in which behavioural inhibition varies along a continuum from ‘instructed inhibition’ to ‘intentional inhibition’. This model may be useful as a guide for future work.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Intentional inhibition of actions in humans
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Inhibition, Voluntary, Intention, Decision
UCL classification: 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1449530
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