The Maturation of Interference Suppression and Response Inhibition: ERP Analysis of a Cued Go/Nogo Task
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Authors: Vuillier, L., Bryce, D., Szücs, D. and Whitebread, D.
Journal: PLoS One
Inhibitory control is a core function that allows us to resist interference from our surroundings and to stop an ongoing action. To date, it is not clear whether inhibitory control is a single process or whether it is composed of different processes. Further, whether these processes are separate or clustered in childhood is under debate. In this study, we investigated the existence and development of two hypothesized component processes of inhibitory control-interference suppression and response inhibition-using a single task and event related potential components. Twenty 8-year-old children and seventeen adults performed a spatially cued Go/Nogo task while their brain activity was recorded using electroencephalography. Mean N2 amplitudes confirmed the expected pattern for response inhibition with both the children and the adults showing more negative N2 for Nogo vs. Go trials. The interference suppression N2 effect was only present in adults and appeared as a more negative N2 in response to Go trials with a congruent cue than Go trials with an incongruent cue. Contrary to previous findings, there was no evidence that the interference suppression N2 effect was later occurring than the response inhibition N2 effect. Overall, response inhibition was present in both the children and the adults whereas interference suppression was only present in the adults. These results provide evidence of distinct maturational processes for both component processes of inhibitory control, with interference suppression probably continuing to develop into late childhood.