Development of children's performance and ERP components in the equiprobable Go/NoGo task
International Journal of Psychophysiology
Since the equiprobable Go/NoGo task lacks the dominant Go imperative of the usual Go/NoGo (with more Go than NoGo stimuli), it is generally regarded as involving little inhibition. However, children have relative difficulty with this task, and have a large frontal NoGo N2. We previously found that this ‘child N2’ does play an inhibitory role, with larger frontal N2b associated with fewer commission errors. Here we investigated age-related developmental differences in the N2b and other components in the equiprobable Go/NoGo task. Two groups of eighteen Younger children (aged 8.0 to 10.3 years) and eighteen Older children (aged 10.4 to 12.8 years), matched on sex, were presented with three stimulus blocks each containing 100 Go and 100 NoGo tone stimuli in random order. Four temporal PCAs, each with unrestricted VARIMAX rotation, separately quantified the Go and NoGo ERPs of each group, and similar components were extracted from each set. Most identified components were differentially enhanced to either Go or NoGo, as in adults, supporting a previously-proposed differential sequential processing schema. The Older group had Go component latencies that were systematically reduced by some 7.4% from the Younger group, and they displayed faster RT and fewer omission and commission errors. Between subjects in the Older group, larger frontocentral NoGo N2b was associated with fewer commission errors. Hence the NoGo N2b in this paradigm can be interpreted as an individual marker of inhibition in older, but not young, children.
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