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Volitional inhibition: The gateway for an efficient control of voluntary movements

Edited by: Giovanni Mirabella

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

ISBN: 978-2-88919-062-1

Product Name: Frontiers Research Topic Ebook

Being able to suppress a pending action is a fundamental ability for surviving in an unpredictable world. Sudden events, such as the appearance of a physical obstacle, might require a quick change of the planned motor strategy. The first step toward this goal is to suppress the pre-programmed actions. Understanding the functional characteristics and the neural underpinnings of inhibition is a primary aim, both for the treatment of such diseases as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, where the decision-making abilities are severely impaired, and for the development of efficient brain–machine interfaces.

Despite an incredible amount of work, witnessed by tens of articles published on Medline, both the localizations of the neural substrates of voluntary inhibition and their specific contributions to this executive function are still controversial. However, the ability of vetoing pending actions is likely to be at the basis of self control and of mental simulation of voluntary actions. In other words the veto power is a cornerstone of our will. As such the neural code underling volitional inhibition should be taken into account to feed appropriate signals into artificial devices to mimic voluntary movements.

The aim of the present Research Topic is twofold. On the one hand it will show the most innovative aspects of the current researches on the neural substrates and functional mechanisms of volitional inhibition. On the other hand it will deal with the possible applications of the acquired knowledge for building up interfaces that could collect and decode incoming neural signals in order to move artificial limbs and/or to interact with personal computers.

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