Contingent involuntary motoric inhibition: the involuntary inhibition of a motor response contingent on top-down goals. Academic Article uri icon


  • Effective motor control involves both the execution of appropriate responses and the inhibition of inappropriate responses that are evoked by response-associated stimuli. The inhibition of a motor response has traditionally been characterized as either a voluntary act of cognitive control or a low-level perceptual bias arising from processes such as inhibition of return and priming. Involuntary effects of top-down goals on motoric inhibition have been reported, but involve the perseveration of an inhibitory strategy. It is unknown whether the inhibition of a motor response can be selectively triggered by a goal-relevant stimulus, reflecting the automatic activation of a top-down inhibitory strategy. Here we show that irrelevant flankers that share the color of a no-go target elicit the inhibition of their associated motor response while other-colored flankers do not, even when participants have sufficient time to prepare for the upcoming target while ignoring the flankers. Our results demonstrate contingent involuntary motoric inhibition: motoric inhibition can be automatically triggered by a stimulus based on top-down goals.

published proceedings

  • J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Anderson, B. A., & Folk, C. L.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Anderson, Brian A||Folk, Charles L

publication date

  • December 2012