The neural correlates of self-regulatory fatigability during inhibitory control of eye blinking

Elia Abi-Jaoude, Barbara Segura, Sang Soo Cho, Adrian Crawley, Paul Sandor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The capacity to regulate urges is an important human characteristic associated with a range of social and health outcomes. Self-regulatory capacity has been postulated to have a limited reserve, which when depleted leads to failure. The authors aimed to investigate the neural correlates of self-regulatory fatigability. Functional MRI was used to detect brain activations in 19 right-handed healthy subjects during inhibition of eye blinking, in a block design. The increase in number of blinks during blink inhibition from the first to the last block was used as covariate of interest. There was an increase in the number of eye blinks escaping inhibitory control across blink inhibition blocks, whereas there was no change in the number of eye blinks occurring during rest blocks. Inhibition of blinking activated a wide network bilaterally, including the inferior frontal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, and caudate. Deteriorating performance was associated with activity in orbitofrontal cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, rostroventral anterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, somatosensory, and parietal areas. As anticipated, effortful eye-blink control resulted in activation of prefrontal control areas and regions involved in urge and interoceptive processing. Worsening performance was associated with activations in brain areas involved in urge, as well as regions involved in motivational evaluation. These findings suggest that self-regulatory fatigability is associated with relatively less recruitment of prefrontal cortical regions involved in executive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The neural correlates of self-regulatory fatigability during inhibitory control of eye blinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this