Developmental changes in inhibitory processes: Evidence from psychophysiological measures

Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Biological Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.4). 11/2000; 54(1-3):207-39. DOI: 10.1016/S0301-0511(00)00057-0
Source: PubMed


Two major theories of the development of inhibitory functioning are discussed that assume a close relation between inhibitory ability and the maturation of the frontal lobes. It is argued that a psychophysiological approach may add considerably to the study of developmental change in inhibitory processes. A selective review is presented of studies examining heart rate and brain potential measures obtained in a variety of paradigms supposedly showing inhibitory control. The results of these studies are discussed within the framework proposed by Stuss et al. [Stuss, D.T., Shallice, T., Alexander, M.P., Picton, T.W., 1995. A multidisciplinary approach to anterior attentional processing. In: Grafman, J., Holyoak, K.J., Boller, F. (Eds.), Structure and functions of the human prefrontal cortex. Ann. New York Acad. Sci. 769, 191-211], relating component processes of supervisory-system control to distinct brain regions and psychophysiological measures of attention. It is concluded that the supervisory-system framework provides a heuristic way for examining developmental changes in inhibitory processing.

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    • "Previous research has reported two interesting effects with respect to the development of response inhibition. First, several studies have reported a developmental increase in inhibitory control (van der molen, 2000; Durston et al., 2002; Tottenham et al., 2011; Cohen-Gilbert and Thomas, 2013), a finding which was supported in this study. Second, a prior study showed a dip in response inhibition performance for happy faces during mid-adolescence (Somerville et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the influence of relevant and irrelevant emotions on response inhibition from childhood to early adulthood. Ninety-four participants between 6 and 25 years of age performed two go/nogo tasks with emotional faces (neutral, happy, and fearful) as stimuli. In one go/nogo task emotion formed a relevant dimension of the task and in the other go/nogo task emotion was irrelevant and participants had to respond to the color of the faces instead. A special feature of the latter task, in which emotion was irrelevant, was the inclusion of free choice trials, in which participants could freely decide between acting and inhibiting. Results showed a linear increase in response inhibition performance with increasing age both in relevant and irrelevant affective contexts. Relevant emotions had a pronounced influence on performance across age, whereas irrelevant emotions did not. Overall, participants made more false alarms on trials with fearful faces than happy faces, and happy faces were associated with better performance on go trials (higher percentage correct and faster RTs) than fearful faces. The latter effect was stronger for young children in terms of accuracy. Finally, during the free choice trials participants did not base their decisions on affective context, confirming that irrelevant emotions do not have a strong impact on inhibition. Together, these findings suggest that across development relevant affective context has a larger influence on response inhibition than irrelevant affective context. When emotions are relevant, a context of positive emotions is associated with better performance compared to a context with negative emotions, especially in young children.
    Frontiers in Psychology 07/2013; 4:383. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00383 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "Along with structural changes in the brain, executive function (defined as the set of mental control processes that permit goal-directed behavior) develops dramatically between childhood and adolescence (Travis and Tecce, 1998). In the development of executive function, for example, age-related gain has been reported in inhibitory control (Van der Molen, 2000), working memory (Casey et al., 2000; Vuontela et al., 2003), task switching (Cepeda et al., 2000), adaptive problem solving (Chelune and Baer, 1986), and various other planning and problem solving tasks (Welsh et al., 1991). Executive function is also related to the control of attention (Cowan et al., 2005), an important element of information processing that is embodied in the central executive component in theoretical conceptions of working memory (Cowan, 1988). "
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    Frontiers in Physiology 04/2013; 4:87. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2013.00087 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "Executive function is defined as a set of cognitive control processes that permit goal-directed behavior and that develop dramatically between childhood and adolescence [7]. In studies on the development of executive function, for example, age-related gain has been reported in working memory [8,9], inhibitory control [10], task switching [11], control of attention [12], adaptive problem solving [13], and various other planning and problem-solving tasks [14]. Recently, we demonstrated the development of several cognitive functions in elementary school and junior high school students using paper-and-pencil and computerized cognitive function tests which are used in the present study as well [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fatigue is a common complaint among elementary and junior high school students, and is known to be associated with reduced academic performance. Recently, we demonstrated that fatigue was correlated with decreased cognitive function in these students. However, no studies have identified cognitive predictors of fatigue. Therefore, we attempted to determine independent cognitive predictors of fatigue in these students. We performed a prospective cohort study. One hundred and forty-two elementary and junior high school students without fatigue participated. They completed a variety of paper-and-pencil tests, including list learning and list recall tests, kana pick-out test, semantic fluency test, figure copying test, digit span forward test, and symbol digit modalities test. The participants also completed computerized cognitive tests (tasks A to E on the modified advanced trail making test). These cognitive tests were used to evaluate motor- and information-processing speed, immediate and delayed memory function, auditory and visual attention, divided and switching attention, retrieval of learned material, and spatial construction. One year after the tests, a questionnaire about fatigue (Japanese version of the Chalder Fatigue Scale) was administered to all the participants. After the follow-up period, we confirmed 40 cases of fatigue among 118 students. In multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusted for grades and gender, poorer performance on visual information-processing speed and attention tasks was associated with increased risk of fatigue. Reduced visual information-processing speed and poor attention are independent predictors of fatigue in elementary and junior high school students.
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