Behavioral and neural differences during two versions of cognitive shifting tasks in young children and adults



The present study examined how young children and adult participants activated inferior prefrontal regions when they were given different cognitive shifting tasks. Children and adults were given two versions of the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (the standard and advanced versions), and brain activations during the tasks were examined using near infrared spectroscopy. On the behavioral level, the performance of both children and adults deteriorated during the advanced version as compared to the standard version. On the neural level, adults exhibited similar bilateral inferior prefrontal activations during the advanced version and the standard version. On the other hand, children showed the significant differences of the activations between the regions during the advanced version, but not during the standard version. The results indicated that children recruited different inferior prefrontal areas depending on the demands of cognitive shifting. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 56: 761–769, 2014.