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Abstract or Description

It has been posited that self-regulation of behaviors, emotions, and temptations may all rely on a common resource. Recent reviews suggest this common resource may include the inferior frontal cortex (IFC). However, to our knowledge no single functional neuroimaging study has tested this hypothesis. We obtained fMRI scans as 25 abstinent treatment-seeking cigarette smokers completed motor, affective, and craving self-control tasks before smoking cessation treatment. We identified two regions in left IFC and a region in pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA) that were commonly activated in all three tasks. Further, PPI analyses suggest that IFC may involve dissociable pathways in each self-control domain. Specifically, the IFC showed negative functional connectivity with large portions of the thalamus and precentral gyrus during motor stopping, with the insula and other portions of the thalamus during craving regulation, and potentially with a small limbic region during emotion regulation. We discuss implications for understanding self-control mechanisms.



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Clinical Psychological Science, 2, 5, 611-619.