Neurocognitive development of flanker and Stroop interference control: A near-infrared spectroscopy study

Michael K. Yeung, Tsz L. Lee, Agnes S. Chan (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The abilities to resolve flanker and Stroop interference, which are primarily mediated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), have been shown to be dissociable at the individual difference level. However, the relationship between the neurocognitive development of these two aspects of interference control remains unclear. This study examined developmental changes in inhibition performance and PFC activation during flanker and Stroop interference control using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Twenty-eight healthy children and adolescents aged 7–16 years (16 males) underwent the arrow flanker and color-word matching Stroop paradigms while changes in oxyhemoglobin concentration in the PFC were monitored by fNIRS. We found developmental improvements in inhibition performance in terms of the interference scores on both the flanker and Stroop tasks. There were also developmental increases in PFC activation, particularly in the medial region, while resolving flanker and Stroop interference. Despite developmental changes in inhibition performance and medial PFC activation during both tasks, the developmental changes that we observed for these two aspects of interference control were found to be relatively independent of each other. Our findings support the heterogeneous view of interference control and suggest that the neurocognitive development of flanker and Stroop interference control is only weakly associated, if not dissociable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105585
JournalBrain and Cognition
Volume143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Development
  • Inhibitory control
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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