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Psychol Sci. 2006 Jun;17(6):478-84.

Predicting cognitive control from preschool to late adolescence and young adulthood.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, 406 Babbidge Rd., Unit 1020, Storrs, CT 06269, USA. inge-marie.eigsti@uconn.edu

Abstract

In this longitudinal study, the proportion of time preschoolers directed their attention away from rewarding stimuli during a delay-of-gratification task was positively associated with efficiency (greater speed without reduced accuracy) at responding to targets in a go/no-go task more than 10 years later. The overall findings suggest that preschoolers' ability to effectively direct their attention away from tempting aspects of the rewards in a delay-of-gratification task may be a developmental precursor for the ability to perform inhibitory tasks such as the go/no-go task years later. Because performance on the go/no-go task has previously been characterized as involving activation of fronto-striatal regions, the present findings also suggest that performance in the delay-of-gratification task may serve as an early marker of individual differences in the functional integrity of this circuitry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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