Linking impulsivity and inhibitory control using manual and oculomotor response inhibition tasks

Walter Roberts, Mark T. Fillmore, Richard Milich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Separate cognitive processes govern the inhibitory control of manual and oculomotor movements. Despite this fundamental distinction, little is known about how these inhibitory control processes relate to more complex domains of behavioral functioning. This study sought to determine how these inhibitory control mechanisms relate to broadly defined domains of impulsive behavior. Thirty adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 28 comparison adults performed behavioral measures of inhibitory control and completed impulsivity inventories. Results suggest that oculomotor inhibitory control, but not manual inhibitory control, is related to specific domains of self-reported impulsivity. This finding was limited to the ADHD group; no significant relations between inhibitory control and impulsivity were found in comparison adults. These results highlight the heterogeneity of inhibitory control processes and their differential relations to different facets of impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grants DA021027 and DA005312 and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grants AA012895 and AA018274 .


  • ADHD
  • Impulsivity
  • Inhibitory control
  • Manual
  • Oculomotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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