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Jonikaitis, Donatas ORCID: 0000-0001-9851-0903; Dhawan, Saurabh; Deubel, Heiner (April 2019): Saccade selection and inhibition: motor and attentional components. In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 121, No. 4: pp. 1368-1380
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Abstract

Motor responses are fundamentally spatial in their function and neural organization. However, studies of inhibitory motor control, focused on global stopping of all actions, have ignored whether inhibitory control can be exercised selectively for specific actions. We used a new approach to elicit and measure motor inhibition by asking human participants to either look at (select) or avoid looking at (inhibit) a location in space. We found that instructing a location to be avoided resulted in an inhibitory bias specific to that location. When compared with the facilitatory bias observed in the Look task, it differed significantly in both its spatiotemporal dynamics and its modulation of attentional processing. While action selection was evident in oculomotor system and interacted with attentional processing, action inhibition was evident mainly in the oculomotor system. Our findings suggest that action inhibition is implemented by spatially specific mechanisms that are separate from action selection.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that cognitive control of saccadic responses evokes separable action selection and inhibition processes. Both action selection and inhibition are represented in the saccadic system, but only action selection interacts with the attentional system.