The neurophysiology of internally-driven actions

Ficarella, Stefania (2015) The neurophysiology of internally-driven actions. PhD thesis, University of Trento, Fondazione istituto italiano di tecnologia.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


Acting in the world in a way that matches our goals, overriding impulses, is one of the first abilities that we must learn while growing up. We often change the course of our actions because of external influences or because we simply “change our mind”. As John H. Patterson said, “Only fools and dead men don't change their minds. Fools won’t. Dead men can’t”. An important distinction must first be made between the impact of internal and external sources on action decisions, and the first part of the introduction will be devoted to this topic. In the second part, I will discuss the topic of inhibitory control. In the scientific literature, action inhibition is often treated as a unitary phenomenon, while the distinction among different types of inhibitions might explain the diverse results and be useful for future studies. My experimental work has been devoted to both externally-triggered and internally-driven voluntary action inhibition, in particular, in Experiment 1 I conducted a set of studies aiming at understanding the underlying cortical circuits for internally-driven action inhibition, whereas Experiment 2 focused on proactive inhibition mechanisms. While it is beyond the scope of this manuscript to cover the entire literature on inhibitory control, I would like to propose a common view to unify the different theories concerning how the brain exerts voluntary inhibitory control and provide some suggestions for future investigations to study the way we flexibly control our actions to cope with the constantly changing external, and internal, environment.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Cognitive and Brain Sciences
PhD Cycle:27
Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/02 PSICOBIOLOGIA E PSICOLOGIA FISIOLOGICA
Uncontrolled Keywords:action inhibition, internally-driven, voluntary action, endogenous action, dFMC
Repository Staff approval on:13 May 2015 14:16

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