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FriSem - Josiah Leong, Department of Psychology, Stanford University

May 5, 2017 -
3:15pm to 4:30pm
Jordan Hall (Building 420), Room 050
Title: Incentivized Inhibition
Abstract: The ability to withhold responses under high stakes, or “incentivized inhibition”, is critical for impulse control. Previous research suggests that right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) is essential for motor inhibition, but less research has addressed how incentives influence this inhibition. By combining a novel task with diffusion-weighted and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we identified neural circuits that support incentivized inhibition. Behaviorally, high incentives aided motor responses to obtain money, but the same incentives decreased response inhibition. Structurally, individual differences in the coherence of a newly-characterized white-matter tract connecting the VLPFC and anterior insula (AIns) were positively associated with incentivized inhibition performance. Functionally, right VLPFC and AIns activity were positively associated with incentivized inhibition performance, and further, VLPFC activity statistically mediated the association between tract coherence and incentivized inhibition performance. Together, these multimodal findings support a new model that can describe how people inhibit actions when stakes are high.


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Department of Psychology
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