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The development of anticipatory cognitive control processes in task-switching: An ERP study in children, adolescents, and young adults

Authors

  • Alberto Manzi,

    1. School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York, USA
    2. Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA
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  • Doreen Nessler,

    1. Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA
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  • Daniela Czernochowski,

    1. Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
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  • David Friedman

    1. Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA
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  • The authors thank Mr. Charles L. Brown III for computer programming and technical assistance. We thank Ms. Brenda Malcom for her aid in recruitment of participants and data collection, and Ms. Rebecca Edelblum for subject recruitment. We thank Dr. Y. M. Cycowicz for her contributions to the early phases of this work. This project was supported in part by grants HD14959 (NICHD) and AG005213 (NIA), and the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.

Please address correspondence to: Alberto Manzi, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522. E-mail: amanzi@mercy.edu

Abstract

To investigate the development of advance task-set updating and reconfiguration, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data were recorded in children (9–10 years), adolescents (13–14 years), and young adults (20–27 years) in a cued task-switching paradigm. In pure blocks, the same task was repeated. In mixed blocks, comprised of stay and switch trials, two tasks were intermixed. Age differences were found for stay-pure performance (mixing costs) in the 600-ms but not in the 1200-ms cue-target interval (CTI). Children showed larger reaction time mixing costs than adults. The ERPs suggested that the larger costs were due to delayed anticipatory task-set updating in children. Switch-stay performance decrements (switch costs) were age-invariant in both CTIs. However, ERP data suggested that children reconfigured the task-set on some stay trials, rather than only on switch trials, suggesting the continued maturation of task-set reconfiguration processes.

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