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Better Late than Never – the Role of Basal Forebrain Inhibition in Successful and Failed Stopping in the Stop Signal Task

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Poster Session I

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • JD Mayse
  • G Nelson
  • I Avila
  • M Gallagher
  • SC Lin


Cognitive inhibitory control, or the ability to suppress responses inappropriate for the context, is essential for adaptive behavior. We recently identified a novel neural correlate of the time required to suppress the planned go-response, known as stop-signal reaction time (SSRT), in the basal forebrain (BF). In rats performing the stop signal task, BF neurons with bursting responses to the go-signal were selectively inhibited by the stop-signal. In the current study, we examined how BF activity was modulated between successful and failed stop trials. We found that the stop signal was processed similarly before SSRT, but processed differentially after SSRT. This response pattern suggests that BF neurons separately provide information relating to stopping and whether stopping was successful. Failure to stop was associated with BF inhibition arriving too late after the initiation of the go response. Nevertheless, the presence of BF inhibition in failed stop trials resulted in corrective reentry responses especially when go responses were initiated just before SSRT. Together, our results show that successful or failed stopping is largely determined by the variability in the go-process, while the processing of the stop signal by the BF is a robust, invariant process that is always engaged irrespective of behavioral outcome.

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