Neurophysiological principles of inhibitory control processes during cognitive flexibility

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Inhibitory control plays an indispensable role in cognitive flexibility. Nevertheless, the neurophysiological principles underlying this are incompletely understood. This owes to the fact that the representational dynamics, as coded in oscillatory neural activity of different frequency bands has not been considered until now—despite being of conceptual relevance. Moreover, it is unclear in how far distinct functional neuroanatomical regions are concomitantly involved in the processing of representational dynamics. We examine these questions using a combination of EEG methods. We show that theta-band activity plays an essential role for inhibitory control processes during cognitive f lexibility across informational aspects coded in distinct fractions of the neurophysiological signal. It is shown that posterior parietal structures and the inferior parietal cortex seem to be the most important cortical region for inhibitory control processes during cognitive f lexibility. Theta-band activity plays an essential role in processes of retrieving the previously inhibited representations related to the current task during cognitive f lexibility. The representational content relevant for inhibitory processes during cognitive f lexibility is coded in the theta frequency band. We outline how the observed neural mechanisms inform recent overarching cognitive frameworks on how f lexible action control is accomplished.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6656-6666
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral cortex
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023

External IDs

PubMed 36610732
ORCID /0000-0002-2989-9561/work/151981732



  • EEG, MVPA, cognitive flexibility, representations, Parietal Lobe/physiology, Electroencephalography, Cognition/physiology