The long-term goal of this research is to understand how the brain controls and monitors the actions it produces to gain insight into the causes of dyscontrol underlying various psychopathologies. The activity of ensembles of neurons and local field potentials will be monitored in targeted layers of the frontal lobe of monkeys performing a saccade countermanding task that probes the ability to inhibit a movement at different degrees of preparation by presenting an infrequent but imperative stop signal. The frontal eye field will be studied to further elucidate the neural activity that determines whether and when a movement will occur. The supplementary eye field and anterior cingulate cortex will be studied to characterize the neural concomitants of supervisory control signals and to determine how executive control is exerted. Patterns of ensemble neural activity and laminar local field potentials will be analyzed through procedures specified by the race model of stop signal task performance to evaluate specific hypothesis about how the brain initiates and inhibits movements (Aim 1), monitors the consequences of movements (Aim 2) and exerts executive control to improve performance (Aim 3). These data will contribute to distinguishing between error, feedback and conflict monitoring theories of executive control.

Public Health Relevance

Disordered inhibitory control is a core symptom of psychopathologies like schizophrenia. The basic information about direct and executive control of action that will be obtained through the proposed research plan is essential to design more effective diagnosis and eventual treatment of disorders of impulse control. Targeted therapies with fewer side-effects require knowledge of the neural circuits instantiating inhibitory control.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Sensorimotor Integration Study Section (SMI)
Program Officer
Glanzman, Dennis L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Godlove, David C; Schall, Jeffrey D (2014) Microsaccade production during saccade cancelation in a stop-signal task. Vision Res :
Middlebrooks, Paul G; Schall, Jeffrey D (2014) Response inhibition during perceptual decision making in humans and macaques. Atten Percept Psychophys 76:353-66
Godlove, David C; Maier, Alexander; Woodman, Geoffrey F et al. (2014) Microcircuitry of agranular frontal cortex: testing the generality of the canonical cortical microcircuit. J Neurosci 34:5355-69
Schall, Jeffrey D (2013) Macrocircuits: decision networks. Curr Opin Neurobiol 23:269-74
Godlove, David C; Emeric, Erik E; Segovis, Courtney M et al. (2011) Event-related potentials elicited by errors during the stop-signal task. I. Macaque monkeys. J Neurosci 31:15640-9
Thakkar, Katharine N; Schall, Jeffrey D; Boucher, Leanne et al. (2011) Response inhibition and response monitoring in a saccadic countermanding task in schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry 69:55-62
Pouget, Pierre; Logan, Gordon D; Palmeri, Thomas J et al. (2011) Neural basis of adaptive response time adjustment during saccade countermanding. J Neurosci 31:12604-12
Godlove, David C; Garr, Anna K; Woodman, Geoffrey F et al. (2011) Measurement of the extraocular spike potential during saccade countermanding. J Neurophysiol 106:104-14
Stuphorn, Veit; Brown, Joshua W; Schall, Jeffrey D (2010) Role of supplementary eye field in saccade initiation: executive, not direct, control. J Neurophysiol 103:801-16
Schall, Jeffrey D; Emeric, Erik E (2010) Conflict in cingulate cortex function between humans and macaque monkeys: More apparent than real. Brain Behav Evol 75:237-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 34 publications