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Two parallel cortical streams from the prefrontal areas support response inhibition
Takahiro Osada (Seiki Konishi)

Response inhibition supports adaptive behavior by suppressing inappropriate behavior. It has been reported that several prefrontal areas are involved in response inhibition. However, it is poorly understood how temporal sequences among the cortical areas are recruited as processing streams to achieve response inhibition. In this study, we found two areal-level processing streams for response inhibition in humans by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Time-resolved single-pulse TMS during the stop-signal task revealed three distinct critical timings of transient disruption in the functionally essential cortical areas that belong to two distinct cerebrocortical networks. Furthermore, single-pulse TMS following suppression of the ventral posterior inferior frontal cortex (vpIFC) with repetitive TMS revealed information flow from the vpIFC to the presupplementary motor area (preSMA) within the same network, but not to the dorsal posterior inferior frontal cortex (dpIFC) across different networks. These causal behavioral effects suggest two parallel processing streams that act concurrently during response inhibition: stopping stream flows from the vpIFC to the preSMA, whereas the other stream runs from the dpIFC to the intraparietal sulcus in a later phase.

Parallel cognitive processing streams in human prefrontal cortex: Parsing areal-level brain network for response inhibition.
Osada T, Ogawa A, Suda A, Nakajima K, Tanaka M, Oka S, Kamagata K, Aoki S, Oshima Y, Tanaka S, Hattori N, Konishi S.
Cell Reports 36(12): 109732, 2021.
DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109732

(A) Stop-signal task and experimental procedures. The stop-signal task consists of Go trials and Stop trials. In Go trials, subjects were instructed to press the left or right button, as indicated by the arrow. In Stop trials, the left/right arrow was changed to an up-pointing arrow, and the subjects were required to withhold their manual response. Task-related areas critical for response inhibition and connectivities were identified by fMRI. The critical time window for each cortical area was identified via single-pulse TMS. Cortical processing streams were examined using combined single-pulse TMS and repetitive TMS.
(B) Two parallel processing streams originating from the vpIFC and from the dpIFC, respectively.

Department of Neurophysiology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan