Neural correlates of successful and partial inhibitions in children: An ERP study

Lucy Cragg*, Allison Fox, Kate Nation, Corinne Reid, Mike Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    This experiment used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neural processes underlying the development of response inhibition in a modified version of the go/no-go paradigm [Cragg and Nation [2008] Developmental Science 11(6): 819-827]. N2 and P3 ERP components on correct go trials and partial and successful inhibitions were compared in 7- and 9-year-old children. A larger N2 effect on successful inhibitions was found in 9-year-olds compared to 7-year-olds at fronto-central electrodes. N2 amplitude was positively related to behavioral performance in the 7-year-olds suggesting it may reflect inhibitory processes; however, this relationship was not present in the 9-year-olds. Age differences were also apparent in the go P3, perhaps indicating differences in stimulus processing. The no-go P3 component was larger on successful than partial inhibitions. In contrast, there was no difference in N2 amplitude between partial and successful inhibitions. A significant difference was found in N2 latency however. This suggests that inhibitory processes are similar in both cases but initiated earlier on successful inhibitions. N2 latency was also shorter in 9-year-olds than 7-year-olds supporting an increase in the efficiency of response inhibition with age.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)533-543
    Number of pages11
    JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


    • Children
    • Development
    • Event-related potentials
    • Go/no-go
    • Inhibition
    • N2
    • P3


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