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Magnetoencephalographic Signatures of Right Prefrontal Cortex Involvement in Response Inhibition

Maike A. Hege, Hubert Preissl and Krunoslav T. Stingl.   Human Brain Mapping  Vol 35:Issue 9

Prevention and reversion of weight gain requires strong control of food intake. Particularly important in inhibiting the impulse to consume additional, unnecessary calories might be the cognitive control process of response inhibition as it allows us to inhibit actions, thoughts, and impulses that are inappropriate in a given context. Response inhibition of motor actions can be investigated in go-nogo tasks, in which subjects are required to perform speeded responses on go trials and to withhold responses on nogo trials. In our study, the role of prefrontal brain networks during response inhibition to food and toy pictures was investigated. In particular, we used magnetoencephalography to explore the temporal dynamics and neurophysiological nature of the activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC). It was shown that rDLPFC showed increased activity during response inhibition and that the temporal dynamics of this activity supported a role of rDLPFC in guiding the selection of inhibiting the response. Further results suggested that right prefrontal alpha band activity might be involved in this gating. With regard to the control of food intake, this prefrontal activity might be essential when selecting not to eat more or certain kinds of high caloric palatable food. In an additional study we already observed reduced activity in prefrontal brain areas during response inhibition to food pictures for obese subjects with binge eating disorder in comparison to obese subjects without binge eating disorder (Hege et al. 2014, Int J Obes). This observation might explain the inability of binge eating disorder patients to control their temporary excessive food intake.   read the full article

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