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<p>Impulsive individuals are thought to lack cognitive control, which has been found to operate via two distinct modes: reactive control (i.e., goal information is triggered by a stimulus) and proactive control (i.e., goal information is sustained over time) (Braver, 2012). Cognitive control in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) has been shown to be hierarchically organized: the frontopolar cortex is posited to represent temporally extended goals, which are conveyed to posterior LPFC regions such as the mid-lateral prefrontal cortex (Badre, 2009). Recent work indicates that goal representation in the LPFC relies on distributed multivoxel neural activity patterns (Waskom, 2017). However, the extent to which reactive and proactive modes of cognitive control contribute to individual differences in impulsivity is unknown. In this study, participants (N=36; 18-30 y old, 56% female) performed an event-related Affective Go/No-Go task in the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner, and N = 25 completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). Proactive control was indexed by sustained, goal-dependent background multivoxel patterns in the LPFC, whereas reactive control was indexed by transient trial-wise multivoxel patterns of goal representation in the LPFC. Our findings revealed that attentional impulsivity is associated with neural indices of both proactive control and reactive control in the LPFC—specifically, in the lateral frontal pole (FPl). Moreover, proactive control and reactive control in FPl cortex make distinct and independent contributions to attentional impulsivity. These results provide further insight into cognitive control mechanisms underlying impulse-related disorders.</p>
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