Dynamic adjustments of midfrontal control signals in adults and adolescents

Gyurkovics, M. and Levita, L. (2021) Dynamic adjustments of midfrontal control signals in adults and adolescents. Cerebral Cortex, 31(2), pp. 795-808. (doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa258) (PMID:33026426)

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During task performance, our level of cognitive control is dynamically adjusted to task demands as reflected, for example, by the congruency sequence effect (CSE) in conflict tasks. Although brain areas related to cognitive control show protracted maturation across adolescence, previous studies found that adolescents show similar behavioral CSEs to adults. In the present study, we investigated whether there are age-related changes in the neural underpinnings of dynamic control adjustments using electroencephalography. Early adolescents (ages 12–14, N = 30) and young adults (ages 25–27, N = 29) completed a confound-minimized flanker task optimized for the detection of sequential control adjustments. The CSE was observed in midfrontal theta power thought to capture anterior cingulate cortex-mediated monitoring processes but was not modulated significantly by age. Adolescents, however, showed a smaller congruency effect in the power and cross-trial temporal consistency of midfrontal theta oscillations than adults. No age differences were observed in phase-based connectivity between midfrontal and lateral frontal regions in the theta band. These findings provide strong support for the role of midfrontal theta oscillations in conflict monitoring and reactive control and suggest that the cognitive system of early adolescents initially responds less reliably to the occurrence of conflict than that of adults.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gyurkovics, Dr Mate
Authors: Gyurkovics, M., and Levita, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Cerebral Cortex
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2199
Published Online:07 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2020
First Published:First published in Cerebral Cortex 31(2):795-808
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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