1. Neuroscience
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A consensus guide to capturing the ability to inhibit actions and impulsive behaviors in the stop-signal task

  1. Frederick Verbruggen  Is a corresponding author
  2. Adam R Aron
  3. Guido PH Band
  4. Christian Beste
  5. Patrick G Bissett
  6. Adam T Brockett
  7. Joshua W Brown
  8. Samuel R Chamberlain
  9. Christopher D Chambers
  10. Hans Colonius
  11. Lorenza S Colzato
  12. Brian D Corneil
  13. James P Coxon
  14. Annie Dupuis
  15. Dawn M Eagle
  16. Hugh Garavan
  17. Ian Greenhouse
  18. Andrew Heathcote
  19. René J Huster
  20. Sara Jahfari
  21. J Leon Kenemans
  22. Inge Leunissen
  23. Gordon D Logan
  24. Dora Matzke
  25. Sharon Morein-Zamir
  26. Aditya Murthy
  27. Chiang-Shan R Li
  28. Martin Paré
  29. Russell A Poldrack
  30. K Richard Ridderinkhof
  31. Trevor W Robbins
  32. Matthew Roesch
  33. Katya Rubia
  34. Russell J Schachar
  35. Jeffrey D Schall
  36. Ann-Kathrin Stock
  37. Nicole C Swann
  38. Katharine N Thakkar
  39. Maurits W van der Molen
  40. Luc Vermeylen
  41. Matthijs Vink
  42. Jan R Wessel
  43. Robert Whelan
  44. Bram B Zandbelt
  45. C Nico Boehler
  1. Ghent University, Belgium
  2. University of California, San Diego, United States
  3. Leiden University, Netherlands
  4. Technical University of Dresden, Germany
  5. Stanford University, United States
  6. University of Maryland, United States
  7. Indiana University, United States
  8. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  9. Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  10. Oldenburg University, Germany
  11. University of Western Ontario, Canada
  12. Monash University, Australia
  13. University of Toronto, Canada
  14. University of Vermont, United States
  15. University of Oregon, United States
  16. University of Tasmania, Australia
  17. University of Oslo, Norway
  18. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Netherlands
  19. Utrecht University, Netherlands
  20. KU Leuven, Belgium
  21. Vanderbilt University, United States
  22. University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  23. Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
  24. Indian Institute of Science, India
  25. Yale University, United States
  26. Queen's University, Canada
  27. University of Maryland, College Park, United States
  28. King's College London, United Kingdom
  29. Dresden University of Technology, Germany
  30. Michigan State University, United States
  31. University of Iowa, United States
  32. Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  33. Donders Institute, Netherlands
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e46323 doi: 10.7554/eLife.46323

Abstract

Response inhibition is essential for navigating everyday life. Its derailment is considered integral to numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, and more generally, to a wide range of behavioral and health problems. Response-inhibition efficiency furthermore correlates with treatment outcome in some of these conditions. The stop-signal task is an essential tool to determine how quickly response inhibition is implemented. Despite its apparent simplicity, there are many features (ranging from task design to data analysis) that vary across studies in ways that can easily compromise the validity of the obtained results. Our goal is to facilitate a more accurate use of the stop-signal task. To this end, we provide twelve easy-to-implement consensus recommendations and point out the problems that can arise when these are not followed. Furthermore we provide user-friendly open-source resources intended to inform statistical-power considerations, facilitate the correct implementation of the task, and assist in proper data analysis.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Frederick Verbruggen

    Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    For correspondence
    frederick.verbruggen@ugent.be
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7958-0719
  2. Adam R Aron

    Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, United States
    Competing interests
    Adam R Aron, Reviewing editor, eLife.
  3. Guido PH Band

    Department of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Christian Beste

    Cognitive Neurophysiology, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    Christian Beste, has received payment for consulting and speaker's honoraria from GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Genzyme, and Teva. He has recent research grants with Novartis and Genzyme.
  5. Patrick G Bissett

    Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Adam T Brockett

    Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7712-5053
  7. Joshua W Brown

    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  8. Samuel R Chamberlain

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    Samuel R Chamberlain, consults for Shire, Ieso Digital Health, Cambridge Cognition, and Promentis. Dr Chamberlain's research is funded by Wellcome Trust (110049/Z/15/Z).
  9. Christopher D Chambers

    Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  10. Hans Colonius

    Department of Psychology, Oldenburg University, Oldenburg, Germany
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9733-6939
  11. Lorenza S Colzato

    Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  12. Brian D Corneil

    Department of Physiology Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4702-7089
  13. James P Coxon

    Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2351-8489
  14. Annie Dupuis

    Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  15. Dawn M Eagle

    Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  16. Hugh Garavan

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Vermont, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  17. Ian Greenhouse

    University of Oregon, Eugene, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1467-739X
  18. Andrew Heathcote

    Division of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  19. René J Huster

    Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  20. Sara Jahfari

    Spinoza Centre Amsterdam, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1979-589X
  21. J Leon Kenemans

    Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  22. Inge Leunissen

    Department of Movement Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  23. Gordon D Logan

    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  24. Dora Matzke

    Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  25. Sharon Morein-Zamir

    Psychology Department, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  26. Aditya Murthy

    Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  27. Chiang-Shan R Li

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  28. Martin Paré

    Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  29. Russell A Poldrack

    Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-6755-0259
  30. K Richard Ridderinkhof

    Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  31. Trevor W Robbins

    Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    Trevor W Robbins, consults for Cambridge Cognition, Mundipharma and Unilever. He receives royalties from Cambridge Cognition (CANTAB) and has recent research grants with Shionogi and SmallPharma.
  32. Matthew Roesch

    Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2854-6593
  33. Katya Rubia

    Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    Katya Rubia, has received speaker's honoraria and grants for other projects from Eli Lilly and Shire.
  34. Russell J Schachar

    The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Competing interests
    Russell J Schachar, has consulted to Highland Therapeutics, Eli Lilly and Co., and Purdue Pharma. He has commercial interest in a cognitive rehabilitation software company, eHave.
  35. Jeffrey D Schall

    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  36. Ann-Kathrin Stock

    Cognitive Neurophysiology, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  37. Nicole C Swann

    University of Oregon, Eugene, United States
    Competing interests
    Nicole C Swann, Reviewing editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2463-5134
  38. Katharine N Thakkar

    Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  39. Maurits W van der Molen

    Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  40. Luc Vermeylen

    Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  41. Matthijs Vink

    Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  42. Jan R Wessel

    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7298-6601
  43. Robert Whelan

    Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  44. Bram B Zandbelt

    Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Donders Institute, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  45. C Nico Boehler

    Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5963-2780

Funding

H2020 European Research Council (769595)

  • Frederick Verbruggen

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. David Badre, Brown University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: February 22, 2019
  2. Accepted: April 9, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 29, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 23, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Verbruggen et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Further reading

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    It is thought that the brain does not simply react to sensory feedback, but rather uses an internal model of the body to predict the consequences of motor commands before sensory feedback arrives. Time-delayed sensory feedback can then be used to correct for the unexpected—perturbations, motor noise, or a moving target. The cerebellum has been implicated in this predictive control process. Here, we show that the feedback gain in patients with cerebellar ataxia matches that of healthy subjects, but that patients exhibit substantially more phase lag. This difference is captured by a computational model incorporating a Smith predictor in healthy subjects that is missing in patients, supporting the predictive role of the cerebellum in feedback control. Lastly, we improve cerebellar patients’ movement control by altering (phase advancing) the visual feedback they receive from their own self movement in a simplified virtual reality setup.

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