Dynamical change of signal complexity in the brain during inhibitory control processes

Shih Lin Huang, Philip Tseng, Wei Kuang Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to inhibit impulses and withdraw certain responses are essential for human's survival in a fast-changing environment. These processes happen fast, in a complex manner, and require our brain to make a fast adaptation to inhibit the impulsive response. The present study employs multiscale entropy (MSE) to analyzing electroencephalography (EEG) signals acquired alongside a behavioral stop-signal task to theoretically quantify the complexity (indicating adaptability and efficiency) of neural systems to investigate the dynamical change of complexity in the brain during the processes of inhibitory control. We found that the complexity of EEG signals was higher for successful than unsuccessful inhibition in the stage of peri-stimulus, but not in the pre-stimulus time window. In addition, we found that the dynamical change in the brain from pre-stimulus to peri-stimulus stage for inhibitory control is a process of decreasing complexity. We demonstrated both by sensor-level and source-level MSE that the processes of losing complexity is temporally slower and spatially restricted for successful inhibition, and is temporally quicker and spatially extensive for unsuccessful inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6834-6853
Number of pages20
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adaptability
  • Complexity
  • EEG
  • Inhibitory control
  • MSE
  • Multiscale entropy
  • Stop signal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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