Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study
AuthorScalzo, F; O'Connor, DA; Orr, C; Murphy, K; Hester, R
Source TitleFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsScalzo, F., O'Connor, D. A., Orr, C., Murphy, K. & Hester, R. (2016). Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study. FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, 10, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00429.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/DP1092852
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.
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