Stop the impulse
: uma tarefa stop signal emocional na população adulta portuguesa

Translated title of the thesis: Stop the impulse: an emotional stop signal task in the Portuguese population
  • Francisca Moreira Lopes (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Action suppression and cancelation are central components of human cognitive control. Inhibitory control (IC) is a cognitive function involving distinct brain networks. To study inhibitory response in certain populations, several paradigms have been employed in literature, including the Stop Signal Task. Although previous research has shed light on this particular executive function, its relationship with emotion still remains unclear. Method: The present study endeavors to address this gap by developing and testing a novel Stop Signal computer program, specifically designed to study IC deficits in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Preliminary research was made on healthy individuals, ensuring the program's validation and calibration, as well as gathering fundamental data on the nonclinical population's impulsiveness, emotion, and IC. The stop signal task developed is based on Verbruggen's original research, but introduces adaptations and advantages, which include changing neutral stimuli for emotionally evocative IAPS images and quadrupling the number of trials, significantly improving the quality and validity of the program's data. The subjects' electrodermal response (EDA) is measured during the task. Questionnaires were also used to assess anxiety, obsessive compulsive symptoms, and impulsivity. Results and Conclusions: The results do not suggest significant differences in the inhibition difficulty of responses in relation to the various emotional categories of the images presented in the sample under study. However, a correlation was observed between the emotions and the individuals' inhibition performance. This research provides clues on the intricate interplay between emotional and cognitive processes, which could have significant implications for potentially paving the way for future breakthroughs and insights into OCD.
Date of Award7 Dec 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorFilipa Ribeiro (Supervisor)


  • Impulsivity
  • Inhibitory control
  • Emotion
  • SST
  • Obsessions


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

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