In Search of the Point of No Return: The Control of Response Processes

Ritske De Jong, Michael G.H. Coles, Gordon D. Logan, Gabriele Gratton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control processes underlying reponse inhibition were examined. Six Ss performed a visual choice reaction task and were occasionally presented with a tone that told them to withhold the response. Reaction time results were in agreement with a model that assumes a race between response activation and response inhibition processes. Event-related brain potentials, electromyogram, and continuous response measures showed that responses could be interrupted at any time. Evidence was obtained for two inhibitory mechanisms: inhibition of central activation processes and inhibition of transmission of motor commands from central to peripheral structures. Results have implications for the distinction between controlled and ballistic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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