Dimensional bias and adaptive adjustments in inhibitory control of monkeys

Sadegh Ghasemian, Marzieh M. Vardanjani, Vahid Sheibani, Farshad A. Mansouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Humans and macaque monkeys, performing a Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), show a significant behavioral bias to a particular sensory dimension (e.g. color or shape); however, lesions in prefrontal cortical regions do not abolish the dimensional biases in monkeys and, therefore, it has been proposed that these biases emerge in earlier stages of visual information processing. It remains unclear whether such dimensional biases are unique to the WCST, in which attention-shifting between dimensions are required, or affect other aspects of executive functions such as ‘response inhibition’ and ‘error-induced behavioral adjustments’. To address this question, we trained six monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to perform a stop-signal task in which they had to inhibit their response when an instruction for inhibition was given by changing the color or shape of a visual stimulus. Stop Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) is an index of inhibitory processes. In all monkeys, SSRT was significantly shorter, and the probability of a successful inhibition was significantly higher, when a change in the shape dimension acted as the stop-cue. Humans show a response slowing following a failure in response inhibition and also adapt a proactive slowing after facing demands for response inhibition. We found such adaptive behavioral adjustments, with the same pattern, in monkeys’ behavior; however, the dimensional bias did not modulate them. Our findings, showing dimensional bias in monkey, with the same pattern, in two different executive control tasks support the hypothesis that the bias to shape dimension emerges in early stages of visual information processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-828
Number of pages14
JournalAnimal Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Dimensional bias
  • Macaque monkey
  • Post-error slowing
  • Post-stop slowing
  • Response inhibition

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