STOP! The Neural Correlates of Impulsivity and Response Inhibition




Dussault Gomez, Marie-Anne

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Response inhibition, a component of the multilayered construct of impulsivity, is defined as the capability to withhold from executing a pre-potent response and has been implicated in various conditions and disorders, such as substance abuse and bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to use electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate how impulsivity modulates task performance as well as the amplitude of the even-related potential component P300 in two response inhibition tasks. Ten participants from the University of Victoria were classified into high impulsivity (HI; n = 5) and low impulsivity (LI; n = 5) groups based on their Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) scores. Participants completed the Go/No-Go task and Stop Signal-Response Task (SSRT) whilst EEG was recorded from 32 electrodes. Results showed the HI group had a higher P300 amplitude in successful SSRT Stop trials than the LI group, but there was no difference in task performance (as measured by number and proportion of commission errors). In the Go/No-Go task, there was no difference in both performance and P300 amplitude between the HI and LI group. This study provides evidence that individuals with HI have to exert greater inhibitory control than those with LI to successfully perform action restraint (i.e. Stop trials in the SSRT), but not action cancellation (i.e. No-Go trails in the Go/No-Go task).



Impulsivity, Response Inhibition, ERP, EEG, P300, SSRT, Go/No-Go