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Title: Intentional inhibition of actions in humans
Author: Misirlisoy, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 4707
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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A crucial component of human behavioural flexibility is the capacity to inhibit actions at the last moment before action execution. This behavioural inhibition is often not an immediate reaction to external stimuli, but rather an endogenous ‘free’ decision. Knowledge about such ‘intentional inhibition’ is currently limited, with most research focused on stimulus-driven inhibition. This thesis will examine intentional inhibition, using several different experimental approaches. The behavioural experiments reported in the initial chapters found that intentional inhibition directly alters sensory processing during decision-making. In addition, there were unique effects of prior event sequences on subsequent decisions to either act or inhibit. Brain imaging methods using EEG and fMRI showed distinct neural mechanisms associated with intentional inhibition, which did not apply to rule-based inhibition. Work with Tourette syndrome patients indicated that the intentional inhibition of involuntary motor tics affects brain activity associated with voluntary actions. Furthermore, attentional manipulation strategies were shown to be highly effective in reducing tics, which may open up alternative behavioural treatment approaches for tic disorders. This thesis concludes by demonstrating that intentional inhibition is a bona fide cognitive function worth studying. It also develops a cognitive model in which behavioural inhibition varies along a continuum from ‘instructed inhibition’ to ‘intentional inhibition’. This model may be useful as a guide for future work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available