Most studies contributing to identify the brain network for inhibitory control have investigated the cancelation of prepared–discrete actions, thus focusing on an isolated and short-lived chunk of human behavior. Aborting ongoing–continuous actions is an equally crucial ability but remains little explored. Although discrete and ongoing–continuous rhythmic actions are associated with partially overlapping yet largely distinct brain activations, it is unknown whether the inhibitory network operates similarly in both situations. Thus, distinguishing between action types constitutes a powerful means to investigate whether inhibition is a generic function. We, therefore, used independent component analysis (ICA) of EEG data and show that canceling a discrete action and aborting a rhythmic action rely on independent brain components. The ICA showed that a delta/theta power increase generically indexed inhibitory activity, whereas N2 and P3 ERP waves did so in an action-specific fashion. The action-specific components were generated by partially distinct brain sources, which indicates that the inhibitory network is engaged differently when canceling a prepared–discrete action versus aborting an ongoing–continuous action. In particular, increased activity was estimated in precentral gyri and posterior parts of the cingulate cortex for action canceling, whereas an enhanced activity was found in more frontal gyri and anterior parts of the cingulate cortex for action aborting. Overall, the present findings support the idea that inhibitory control is differentially implemented according to the type of action to revise.

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