Verbal suppression and strategy use: a role for the right lateral prefrontal cortex?

Robinson, Gail A., Cipolotti, Lisa, Walker, David G., Biggs, Vivien, Bozzali, Marco and Shallice, Tim (2015) Verbal suppression and strategy use: a role for the right lateral prefrontal cortex?. Brain, 138 4: 1084-1096. doi:10.1093/brain/awv003

Author Robinson, Gail A.
Cipolotti, Lisa
Walker, David G.
Biggs, Vivien
Bozzali, Marco
Shallice, Tim
Title Verbal suppression and strategy use: a role for the right lateral prefrontal cortex?
Journal name Brain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-8950
Publication date 2015-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/brain/awv003
Volume 138
Issue 4
Start page 1084
End page 1096
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Verbal initiation, suppression and strategy generation/use are cognitive processes widely held to be supported by the frontal cortex. The Hayling Test was designed to tap these cognitive processes within the same sentence completion task. There are few studies specifically investigating the neural correlates of the Hayling Test but it has been primarily used to detect frontal lobe damage. This study investigates the components of the Hayling Test in a large sample of patients with unselected focal frontal (n = 60) and posterior (n = 30) lesions. Patients and controls (n = 40) matched for education, age and sex were administered the Hayling Test as well as background cognitive tests. The standard Hayling Test clinical measures (initiation response time, suppression response time, suppression errors and overall score), composite errors scores and strategy-based responses were calculated. Lesions were analysed by classical frontal/posterior subdivisions as well as a finer-grained frontal localization method and a specific contrast method that is somewhat analogous to voxel-based lesion mapping methods. Thus, patients with right lateral, left lateral and superior medial lesions were compared to controls and patients with right lateral lesions were compared to all other patients. The results show that all four standard Hayling Test clinical measures are sensitive to frontal lobe damage although only the suppression error and overall scores were specific to the frontal region. Although all frontal patients produced blatant suppression errors, a specific right lateral frontal effect was revealed for producing errors that were subtly wrong. In addition, frontal patients overall produced fewer correct responses indicative of developing an appropriate strategy but only the right lateral group showed a significant deficit. This problem in strategy attainment and implementation could explain, at least in part, the suppression error impairment. Contrary to previous studies there was no specific frontal effect for verbal initiation. Overall, our results support a role for the right lateral frontal region in verbal suppression and, for the first time, in strategy generation/use.
Keyword Hayling test
Verbal suppression
Inhibitory processes
Strategy generation and use
Frontal cortex, neuropsychology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 17 Apr 2015, 15:39:29 EST by Gail Robinson on behalf of School of Psychology