Evidence for independent representational contents in inhibitory control subprocesses associated with frontoparietal cortices

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Inhibitory control processes have intensively been studied in cognitive science for the past decades. Even though the neural dynamics underlying these processes are increasingly better understood, a critical open question is how the representational dynamics of the inhibitory control processes are modulated when engaging in response inhibition in a relatively automatic or a controlled mode. Against the background of an overarching theory of perception-action integration, we combine temporal and spatial EEG signal decomposition methods with multivariate pattern analysis and source localization to obtain fine-grained insights into the neural dynamics of the representational content of response inhibition. For this purpose, we used a sample of N = 40 healthy adult participants. The behavioural data suggest that response inhibition was better in a more controlled than a more automated response execution mode. Regarding neural dynamics, effects of response inhibition modes relied on a concomitant coding of stimulus-related information and rules of how stimulus information is related to the appropriate motor programme. Crucially, these fractions of information, which are encoded at the same time in the neurophysiological signal, are based on two independent spatial neurophysiological activity patterns, also showing differences in the temporal stability of the representational content. Source localizations revealed that the precuneus and inferior parietal cortex regions are more relevant than prefrontal areas for the representation of stimulus–response selection codes. We provide a blueprint how a concatenation of EEG signal analysis methods, capturing distinct aspects of neural dynamics, can be connected to cognitive science theory on the importance of representations in action control.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1061
Number of pages16
JournalHuman brain mapping
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

External IDs

PubMed 36314869
ORCID /0000-0002-2989-9561/work/151981731
ORCID /0000-0002-9069-7803/work/151982550



  • EEG signal decomposition, ICA, MVPA, inhibitory control, source localization