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Developmental changes in brain activation and functional connectivity during response inhibition in the early childhood brain

  • Response inhibition is an attention function which develops relatively early during childhood. Behavioral data suggest that by the age of 3, children master the basic task requirements for the assessment of response inhibition but performance improves substantially until the age of 7. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these developmental processes, however, are not well understood. In this study, we examined brain activation patterns and behavioral performance of children aged between 4 and 6 years compared to adults by applying a go/no-go paradigm during near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) brain imaging. We furthermore applied task-independent functional connectivity measures to the imaging data to identify maturation of intrinsic neural functional networks. We found a significant group x condition related interaction in terms of inhibition-related reduced right fronto-parietal activation in children compared to adults. In contrast, motor-related activation did not differ between age groups. Functional connectivity analysis revealedResponse inhibition is an attention function which develops relatively early during childhood. Behavioral data suggest that by the age of 3, children master the basic task requirements for the assessment of response inhibition but performance improves substantially until the age of 7. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these developmental processes, however, are not well understood. In this study, we examined brain activation patterns and behavioral performance of children aged between 4 and 6 years compared to adults by applying a go/no-go paradigm during near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) brain imaging. We furthermore applied task-independent functional connectivity measures to the imaging data to identify maturation of intrinsic neural functional networks. We found a significant group x condition related interaction in terms of inhibition-related reduced right fronto-parietal activation in children compared to adults. In contrast, motor-related activation did not differ between age groups. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that in the children's group, short-range coherence within frontal areas was stronger, and long-range coherence between frontal and parietal areas was weaker, compared to adults. Our findings show that in children aged from 4 to 6 years fronto-parietal brain maturation plays a crucial part in the cognitive development of response inhibition.show moreshow less

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Author:Jan Mehnert, Atae Akhrif, Silke Telkemeyer, Sonja Rossi, Christoph H. Schmitz, Jens Steinbrink, Isabell WartenburgerORCiDGND, Hellmuth Obrig, Susanne Neufang
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2012.11.006
ISSN:0387-7604 (print)
ISSN:1872-7131 (online)
Parent Title (English):Brain and development : official journal of the Japanese Society of Child Neurology
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Development; Early childhood; Functional connectivity; NIRS; Optical tomography; Response inhibition
Volume:35
Issue:10
Pagenumber:11
First Page:894
Last Page:904
Funder:Parmenides Foundation - Parmenides Center for the Study of Thinking, Munich; Bernstein Focus Neurotechnology [BMBF-Fkz 01GQ0850]; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; World Class University Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea; Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology [R31-10008]; NIH [R42NS050007, R44NS049734]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert