A developmental neuroimaging investigation of the change paradigm

Authors

  • Laura A. Thomas,

    1.  Mood and Anxiety Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Julie M. Hall,

    1.  Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
    2.  Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program, Bethesda, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Martha Skup,

    1.  Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, USA
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  • Sarah E. Jenkins,

    1.  Mood and Anxiety Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, USA
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  • Daniel S. Pine,

    1.  Mood and Anxiety Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, USA
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  • Ellen Leibenluft

    1.  Mood and Anxiety Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, USA
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Laura A. Thomas, Section on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders, Emotion and Development Branch, Mood and Anxiety Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 15K North Drive, MSC 2670, Bethesda, MD 20892 2670, USA; e-mail: tlaura@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

This neuroimaging study examines the development of cognitive flexibility using the Change task in a sample of youths and adults. The Change task requires subjects to inhibit a prepotent response and substitute an alternative response, and the task incorporates an algorithm that adjusts task difficulty in response to subject performance. Data from both groups combined show a network of prefrontal and parietal areas that are active during the task. For adults vs. youths, a distributed network was more active for successful change trials versus go, baseline, or unsuccessful change trials. This network included areas involved in rule representation, retrieval (lateral PFC), and switching (medial PFC and parietal regions). These results are consistent with data from previous task-switching experiments and inform developmental understandings of cognitive flexibility.

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