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EEG signatures associated with stopping are sensitive to preparation

Authors

  • Ian Greenhouse,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
    • Address correspondence to: Ian Greenhouse, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650. E-mail: igreenhouse@berkeley.edu

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  • Jan R. Wessel

    1. Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
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  • We thank Adam R. Aron for discussions and feedback and the National Institutes of Health (UCSD Institute for Neural Computation training grant) for funding.

Abstract

Preparing to stop may “prime” the neural mechanism for stopping and alter brain activity at the time of stopping. Much electroencephalography (EEG) research has studied the N2/P3 complex over frontocentral electrodes during outright stopping. Here, we used differential reward of the stop and go processes in a stop signal task to study the sensitivity of these EEG components to preparation. We found that (a) stopping was faster when it was rewarded; (b) the P3 amplitude was larger for successful versus failed stopping, and this difference was greater when stopping was rewarded over going; (c) the N2 component was observed only on failed stop trials; and (d) there was greater EEG coherence between frontocentral and occipitoparietal electrodes at 12 Hz during the initiation of a go response when stopping was rewarded over going. We propose that frontocentral cortical mechanisms active before and at the time of stopping are sensitive to preparation.

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