The Effects of Response Readiness and Error Monitoring on Saccade Countermanding

Yuan-Chi Tseng1, 2, Chiang-Shan Ray Li1, 3, *
1 Medical Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Tao-yuan, Taiwan
2 Interaction, Cognition and Decision, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
3 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2008 Tseng and Li.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, Connecticut Mental Health Center S103, 34 Park Street, New Haven CT 06519, USA; Tel: 203-974-7354; Fax: 203-974-7366; E-mail:


The stop-signal task (SST) and anti-saccade tasks are both widely used to explore cognitive inhibitory control. Our previous work on a manual SST showed that subjects’ readiness to respond to the go signal and the extent to which subjects monitor their errors need to be considered in order to attribute impaired performance to deficits in response inhibition. Here we examine whether these same task-related variables similarly influence oculomotor SST and anti-saccade performance. Thirty-six and sixty healthy, adult subjects participated in an oculomotor SST and anti-saccade task, respectively, in which the fore-period (FP) of imperative stimulus varied randomly from trial to trial. We computed a FP effect to index response readiness to the imperative stimulus and a post-error slowing (PES) effect to index error monitoring. Contrary to what we had anticipated, other than a weak but negative association between the FP effect and anti-saccade errors, these behavioral variables did not correlate with SST or anti-saccade performance.

Keywords: Stop-signal, go/no-go, impulsivity, inhibitory function, frontal, oculomotor.