- A study of adaptive behavior: effects of age and irrelevant information on the ability to inhibit one's actions.
- Acta Psychologica
- Pages (from-to)
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In the study of adaptive behavior, the stop-signal paradigm provides a measure of the efficiency of response suppression that lends itself to examining the ability to inhibit one's actions, and two complementary types of factors that may influence that ability. Based on neurobiological considerations, age-related individual differences were hypothesized to be such a factor. In agreement with the the cognitive-neuroscience literature, which emphasizes the relatively late maturation and early senescence of the (pre)frontal brain structures that are crucial for inhibitory control, results are reported of a study demonstrating that response inhibition in the stop task is subject to an unequivocal age trend during child development.Stop task performance was hypothesized to be influenced further by the effects of irrelevant information. In a concurrent reaction time task, distracter stimuli may induce activation of an incorrect response. The subsequent inhibition of this incorrect response activation may interact with the suppression of responses in the stop task, if both are engaged simultaneously. Indeed, in a study designed to examine this prediction, the operation of response inhibition in the primary-task and stop processes affected one another negatively when distracters were associated with the incorrect response.
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