Age related changes in inhibitory control as measured by stop signal task performance.
ABSTRACT A modified version of the stop signal task (suitable for use with very young children) was administered to a pre primary school group of children (<5 years, 6 months); a young primary group (5 years, 7 months to 7 years, 6 months); a mid primary group (7 years, 7 months to 9 years, 6 months) and a group of adults. Significant age differences in the ability to inhibit responding were found. These results highlight the need for measures of response inhibition which are appropriate for use with very young children, when the first signs of inhibitory skills are emerging. It is also imperative that such measures allow the assessment of skills across a broad range of age groups in order to comprehensively monitor their development.
SourceAvailable from: Annachiara Cavazzana[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Intentional binding (IB) refers to the temporal attraction between a voluntary action and its sensory consequence. Since its discovery in 2002, it has been considered to be a valid implicit measure of sense of agency (SoA), since it only occurs in the context of voluntary actions. The vast majority of studies considering IB have recruited young adults as participants, while neglecting possible age-related differences. The aim of the present work is to study the development of IB in 10-year-old children. In place of Libet's classical clock method, we decided to implement a new and more suitable paradigm in order to study IB, since children could have some difficulties in dealing with reading clocks. A stream of unpredictable letters was therefore used: participants had to remember which letter was on the screen when they made a voluntary action, heard a sound, or felt their right index finger moved down passively. In Experiment I, a group of young adults was tested in order to replicate the IB effect with this new paradigm. In Experiment II, the same paradigm was then administered to children in order to investigate whether such an effect has already emerged at this age. The data from Experiment I showed the presence of the IB effect in adults. However, Experiment II demonstrated a clear reduction of IB. The comparison of the two groups revealed that the young adult group differed from the children, showing a significantly stronger linkage between actions and their consequences. The results indicate a developmental trend in the IB effect. This finding is discussed in light of the maturation process of the frontal cortical network.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 08/2014; 8. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00651 · 2.90 Impact Factor
Article: The ontogeny of learned inhibition.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Previous studies have examined the maturation of learning and memory abilities during early stages of development. By comparison, much less is known about the ontogeny of learning and memory during later stages of development, including adolescence. In Experiment 1, we tested the ability of adolescent and adult rats to learn a Pavlovian negative occasion setting task. This procedure involves learning to inhibit a behavioral response when signaled by a cue in the environment. During reinforced trials, a target stimulus (a tone) was presented and immediately followed by a food reward. On nonreinforced trials, a feature stimulus (a light) was presented 5 sec prior to the tone and indicated the absence of reward following presentation of the tone. Both adult and adolescent rats learned to discriminate between two different trial types and withhold responding when the light preceded the tone. However, adolescent rats required more sessions than adults to discriminate between reinforced and nonreinforced trials. The results of Experiment 2 revealed that adolescents could learn the task rules but were specifically impaired in expressing that learning in the form of withholding behavior on nonreinforced trials. In Experiment 3, we found that adolescents were also impaired in learning a different version of the task in which the light and tone were presented simultaneously during the nonreinforced trials. These findings add to existing literature by indicating that impairments in inhibitory behavior during adolescence do not reflect an inability to learn to inhibit a response, but instead reflect a specific deficit in expressing that learning.Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) 02/2014; 21(3):143-52. DOI:10.1101/lm.033787.113 · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson disease (PD) is an age-related degenerative disease of the brain, characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Neurologists and neuroscientists now understand that several symptoms of the disease, including hallucinations and impulse control behaviors, stem from the dopaminergic medications used to control the motor aspects of PD. Converging evidence from animals and humans suggests that individual differences in the genes that affect the dopamine system influence the response of PD patients to dopaminergic medication. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that patients taking dopamine replacement therapy who carry candidate alleles that increase dopamine signaling, exhibit greater amounts of motor impulsivity. We examined the relation between inhibitory ability (measured by the Stop Signal Task) and polymorphisms of COMT Val158Met and DRD2 C957T in patients with idiopathic PD. On the Stop Signal Task, carriers of COMT Val/Met and Met/Met genotypes were more impulsive than Val/Val carriers, but we did not find a link between DRD2 polymorphisms and inhibitory ability. These results support the hypothesis that the Met allele of COMT confers an increased risk for behavioral impulsivity in PD patients, whereas DRD2 polymorphisms appear to be less important in determining whether PD patients exhibit a dopamine overdose in the form of motor impulsivity.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 04/2014; 55(3). DOI:10.1111/sjop.12113 · 1.29 Impact Factor