Perceptual Uncertainty Alternates Top-down and Bottom-up Fronto-Temporal Network Signaling during Response Inhibition

Kaho Tsumura, Reiko Shintaki, Masaki Takeda, Junichi Chikazoe, Kiyoshi Nakahara, Koji Jimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Response inhibition is a primary executive control function that allows the withholding of inappropriate responses, and requires appropriate perception of the external environment to achieve a behavioral goal. It remains unclear, however, how response inhibition is achieved when goal-relevant information involves perceptual uncertainty. Twenty-six human participants of both sexes performed a go/no-go task where visually presented random-dot motion stimuli involved perceptual uncertainties. The right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC) was involved in response inhibition, and the middle temporal (MT) region showed greater activity when dot motions involved less uncertainty. A neocortical temporal region in the superior temporal sulcus (STS) specifically showed greater activity during response inhibition in more perceptually certain trials. In this STS region, activity was greater when response inhibition was successful than when it failed. Directional effective connectivity analysis revealed that, in more coherent trials, the MT and STS regions showed enhanced connectivity to the rIFC, whereas in less coherent trials, the signal direction was reversed. These results suggest that a reversible fronto-temporal functional network guides response inhibition and perceptual decision-making under perceptual uncertainty, and in this network, perceptual information in the MT is converted to control information in the rIFC via STS, enabling achievement of response inhibition.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Response inhibition refers to withholding inappropriate behavior and is important for achieving goals. Often, however, decision must be made based on limited environmental evidence. We showed that successful response inhibition is guided by a neocortical temporal region that plays a hub role in converting perceived information coded in a posterior temporal region to control information coded in the PFC. Interestingly, when a perceived stimulus becomes more uncertain, the PFC supplements stimulus encoding in the temporal regions. Our results highlight fronto-temporal mechanisms of response inhibition in which conversion of stimulus-control information is regulated based on the uncertainty of environmental evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4567-4579
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1


  • PFC
  • cognitive control
  • decision-making
  • perception
  • temporal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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