The development of anticipatory cognitiv

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

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

ALBERTO MANZI

DOREEN NESSLER

DANIELA CZERNOCHOWSKI

  For example, in the current paradigm (adapted fromCepeda, Kramer, & Gonzalez de Sather, 2001), subjects were shown strings of numbers (1, 3, 111, 333) and were asked torespond to digit identity (‘‘What number?’’) in one task, and to the size of the string (‘‘How many?’’) in the other task. These processes are thought to reflectsuch components as the encoding of the cue, the selection and updating of the currently relevant task-set (Mayr, 2001), and theactive maintenance of multiple task-sets in memory (Fagot, 1994;Los, 1996; Meiran, 2000).

1 Mixing costs have

1 Some authors compute mixing costs as the performance difference

  Consequently, in an attempt to gain additional evi- dence on the development of anticipatory control processes in-volved in task switching, we recorded ERPs during the cue- response interval, as well as performance data, in 9–10-year-oldchildren, 13–14-year-old adolescents, and young adults engaged in a task-switching paradigm, with informative task cues pre-sented 600 ms and 1200 ms before target onset. Single- and mixed-task blocks were administered so that stay and pure trials(mixing costs) and switch and stay trials (switch costs) could be compared in order to examine the arguably unique control pro- Following the developmental task-switching behavioral liter- ature, we expected more marked age differences in mixing thanswitch costs (Crone et al., 2004; Karbach & Kray, 2007; Reimers& Maylor, 2005).

3 Mix-

3 Minimum and maximum trial numbers for each group and trial type are provided below

  ResultsBehavioral DataTable 2 shows mean error rates and mean raw RTs for pure, stay, and switch trials, as well as the mean raw mixing and switch costsin short and long CTI conditions for the three age groups. To rule out the possibility that develop- mental differences in vigilance and/or motivation might be re-sponsible for the age difference in mixing costs, we queried the data to determine if block position and trial position withinblocks influenced age-related changes in RT mixing costs.

TARGET CUE CUE TARGET TARGET CUE

  Sec-ond, in contrast to young adults and adolescents, stay-pure pos- itive differences for children did not emerge until after 300 mspost cue in the short CTI and were also delayed by 100 ms in the long CTI compared to young adults and adolescents. Importantly, because the post- target differences were similar in scalp topography to thoseoccurring in the CTI (i.e., centro-parietal), they most likely In addition, the three age groups differed in the offset latency of anticipatory control indexed by the stay-pure positivity.

4 To further support the hypothesis that delays in the timing of

5 The data from the midline locations were used. Because

CUE TARGET 600 200

  Importantly, because the post- target differences were similar in scalp topography to thoseoccurring in the CTI (i.e., centro-parietal), they most likely In addition, the three age groups differed in the offset latency of anticipatory control indexed by the stay-pure positivity. only children and young adults differed in mixing cost magnitude in the short CTI, we computed across-subject correlations be-tween the individual latencies of this peak and the individual mixing costs.

4 It should be noted, however, that caution must be exercised when

  5 10.82 nnn .37 .36 Cz, CPz, Pz 900–1000 ns6.14 nn .47 .24 Pz 1000–1100 ns3.43 n .49 .15 none 1100–1200 ns ns Surface potential scalp topographies for the switch minus stay difference waveforms in the long CTI condition, depicted for the timewindows in which the magnitude difference were reliable. As a result, not-yet-com- pleted anticipatory control processes would have overlappedwith and delayed the processing of the target in the short CTI, thus explaining the larger RT mixing costs in children comparedto young adults.

2 F

CUE TARGET TARGET CUE

  How-ever, it seems more likely that the absence of switch-stay differ- ences in most of the CTI and later in the post-target intervalindicates that children, unlike young adults, performed similar operations on both stay and switch trials. Thus, in total, these analyses are consistent with the re-sults of previous studies (Cepeda et al., 2001; Ridderinkhof & van der Molen, 1997), and add weight to the notion that generalslowing cannot account, in any simple fashion, for the develop- mental pattern of RT costs and ERP findings reported in thecurrent manuscript.

D. Shapiro (Eds.), Consciousness and self-regulation (Vol. 4, pp. 1–18)

  On the origins of the task mixing cost in the cuing task-switching paradigm. The effects of aging on controlled attention and conflict processing in the Stroop task.

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