The present study investigated the relationships between attention and other preparatory processes prior to a response inhibition task and the processes involved in the inhibition itself. To achieve this, a mixed fMRI design was employed to identify the functional areas activated during both inhibition decision events and the block of trials following a visual cue introduced 2 to 7 sec prior (cue period). Preparing for successful performance produced increases in activation for both the cue period and the inhibition itself in the frontoparietal cortical network. Furthermore, preparation produced activation decreases in midline areas (insula and medial prefrontal) argued to be responsible for monitoring internal emotional states, and these cue period deactivations alone predicted subsequent success or failure. The results suggest that when cues are provided to signify the imminent requirement for behavioral control, successful performance results from a coordinated pattern of preparatory activation in task-relevant areas and deactivation of task-irrelevant ones.

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