Dissociating inhibition, attention, and response control in the frontoparietal network using functional magnetic resonance imaging.


Evidence suggests that the right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) plays a specialized role in response inhibition. However, more recent findings indicate a broader role for this region in attentional control. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the functional role of the right IFC in attention, inhibition, and response control in 2 experiments that employed novel variations of the go/no-go task. Across the 2 experiments, we observed a graded response in the right insula/IFC, whereby increasing response control demands led to an increase in activation. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that this region plays a key role in the integration of bottom-up, sensory information with top-down, response-related information to facilitate flexible, goal-directed behavior.