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Attention diversion improves response inhibition of immediate reward, but only when it is beneficial: An fMRI Study

Scalzo, Franco, O'Connor, David A., Orr, Catherine, Murphy, Kevin and Hester, Robert 2016. Attention diversion improves response inhibition of immediate reward, but only when it is beneficial: An fMRI Study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10 , 429. 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00429

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Deficits of self-control are associated with a number of mental state disorders. The ability to direct attention away from an alluring stimulus appears to aid inhibition of an impulsive response. However, further functional imaging research is required to assess the impact of shifts in attention on self-regulating processes. We varied the level of attentional disengagement in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based Go/No-go task to probe whether diversion of attention away from alluring stimuli facilitates response inhibition. We used the attention-grabbing characteristic of faces to exogenously direct attention away from stimuli and investigated the relative importance of attention and response inhibition mechanisms under different delayed reward scenarios [i.e., where forgoing an immediate reward ($1) led to a higher ($10) or no payoff in the future]. We found that diverting attention improved response inhibition performance, but only when resistance to an alluring stimulus led to delayed reward. Region of interest analyses indicated significant increased activity in posterior right inferior frontal gyrus during successful No-go trials for delayed reward trials compared to no delayed reward trials, and significant reduction in activity in the superior temporal gyri and left caudate in contexts of high attentional diversion. Our findings imply that strategies that increase the perceived benefits of response inhibition might assist individuals in abstaining from problematic impulsive behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Physics and Astronomy
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: attention, response inhibition, reward, Go/No-go task, inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, fMRI
Additional Information: This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.]
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 1662-5161
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 December 2016
Date of Acceptance: 10 August 2016
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 14:04

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