Reliable estimation of inhibitory efficiency: to anticipate, choose or simply react?

Inge Leunissen, Bram Zandbelt, Zrinka Potocanac, Stephan Swinnen, James P. Coxon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Response inhibition is an important executive process studied by clinical and experimental psychologists, neurophysiologists and cognitive neuroscientists alike. Stop-signal paradigms are popular because they are grounded in a theory that provides methods to estimate the latency of an unobservable process: the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT). Critically, SSRT estimates can be biased by skew of the response time distribution and gradual slowing over the course of the experiment. Here, we present a series of experiments that directly compare three common stop-signal paradigms that differ in the distribution of response times. The results show that the widely used choice response (CR) and simple response (SR) time versions of the stop-signal paradigm are particularly susceptible to skew of the response time distribution and response slowing, and that using the anticipated response (AR) paradigm based on the Slater-Hammel task offers a viable alternative to obtain more reliable SSRT estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1523
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • response inhibition
  • response strategy
  • stop-signal paradigm

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