Go/No-Go Task

Studies: 241   |   Proportions of No-Go: 6-60%   |   Trial durations: 800-17500 ms

Publications    |    Proportion of No-Go    |    Maximum Trial Duration    |    Authors    |    Recommendations

how to cite this?


(from the discussion section of Wessel, 2017)

Studies with the Go/No-Go Task need to be extremely carefully designed to ensure that inhibitory control is actually necessary to perform the No-Go trials within the respective tasks. If that is not the case, any differential effects that No-Go trials have in the context of such studies cannot be interpreted as effects of inhibitory control activity. Therefore, we make the following recommendations for two parameters that are integral to the validity of the Go/No-Go task:

1. Proportion of No-Go trials

Researchers using the Go/No-Go task need to set the proportion of Go and No-Go trials so that No-Go trials are less frequent, making it strategically beneficial to initiate a Go response on every trial. It is recommended to use a No-Go trial proportion of less than 20%.
Several studies, especially those using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), used block-wise designs in which short blocks of equiprobable Go/Nogo-trials were interleaved with blocks of pure Go-trials (e.g., Fu et al., 2008; Mechelli et al., 2009; Singh et al., 2010; Gow et al., 2012; Hegarty et al., 2012; Lei et al., 2012; Townsend et al., 2012). If the Go-stimulus is the same across both types of blocks, it could be possible to induce response prepotency even in equiprobable designs.

2. Maximum trial durations

Researchers using the Go/No-Go task need to present trials at a rapid pace, so that responses will have to be made quickly. It is recommended to use varying trial durations with a maximum of less than 1,500 ms.
Some studies use a strict response deadline during which the Go-response has to be made (e.g., Kamarajan et al., 2005; Beste et al., 2008; Smith and Douglas, 2011; Morooka et al., 2012; Pandey et al., 2012; Benikos et al., 2013). This likely increases the urgency to respond, and could thereby help to elicit prepotent motor activity. At a cursory glance, around 9-10% of studies surveyed here explicitly mentioned using a response deadine.

3. Imperative stimulus

Some studies use a modified S1-S2 type design (for the basic S1-S2 Go/No-Go design, see Filipovic et al., 2000), in which the first stimulus explicitly indicates a certain probability of the imperative stimulus being a No-Go trial. This probability can be independent of the overall p(No-Go), which could create prepotent motor activity on some trials, even when Go and No-Go trials are equiprobable overall.

These potential measures all aim to increase the likelihood of a prepotent motor response, and are particularly important if the circumstances of a given study preclude the usage of a fast-paced and / or rare No-Go task.

Source: Wessel, J. R. (2017). Prepotent motor activity and inhibitory control demands in different variants of the Go/No-go paradigm. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12871

All contents CC-BY Malte Elson (2016-2017), Ruhr University Bochum; malte(dot)elson(at)rub(dot)de; @maltoesermalte