On the Neural and Mechanistic Bases of Self-Control

Brandon M. Turner, Christian A. Rodriguez, Qingfang Liu, M. Fiona Molloy, Marjolein Hoogendijk, Samuel McClure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Intertemporal choice requires a dynamic interaction between valuation and deliberation processes. While evidence identifying candidate brain areas for each of these processes is well established, the precise mechanistic role carried out by each brain region is still debated. In this article, we present a computational model that clarifies the unique contribution of frontoparietal cortex regions to intertemporal decision making. The model we develop samples reward and delay information stochastically on a moment-by-moment basis. As preference for the choice alternatives evolves, dynamic inhibitory processes are executed by way of asymmetric lateral inhibition. We find that it is these lateral inhibition processes that best explain the contribution of frontoparietal regions to intertemporal decision making exhibited in our data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-750
Number of pages19
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • frontoparietal cortex
  • lateral inhibition
  • leaky competing accumulator model
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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