Neurobehavioral maturation of motor response inhibition in adolescence – A narrative review

Hannah L Weiss, Monica Luciana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Immature motor response inhibition in adolescence is considered contributory to adolescent risk-taking and externalizing behaviors. We review studies reporting age-related variations in motor response inhibition and MRI measurements from typically-developing adolescents. Reviewed studies measured response inhibition using one of three tasks—the Stop Signal Task, Go/No-Go, and Antisaccade Task. Task reliability appears to be particularly strong for the SST. Across tasks and study designs, results indicate that inhibitory control improves markedly through early adolescence. The trajectory of change in later adolescence and into young adulthood (i.e., linear or plateauing) varies depending on the task design. Neuroimaging studies identify adult-like response inhibition networks that are involved in behavioral development. The pros and cons of each task are discussed, including recommendations to guide future studies. Ongoing studies in large longitudinal datasets offer opportunities for further exploration of the shape of change in response inhibition, related neural regions, and associations with other affective and cognitive processes to identify potential impacts of motor response inhibition immaturities or individual differences on adolescent risk-taking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104646
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship awarded to H. Weiss and by the following grants to M.L. from the National Institutes of Health : 2U01DA041120 ) and R01MH122473 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Action inhibition
  • Adolescent development
  • Inhibitory control measurement
  • Inhibitory control neural activity
  • Response inhibition


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