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J Genet Psychol. 2008 Mar;169(1):34-50. doi: 10.3200/GNTP.169.1.34-50.

Context processing and cognitive control in children and young adults.

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Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 68182-0054, USA.


T. S. Braver and colleagues (e.g., T. S. Braver, J. D. Cohen, & D. M. Barch, 2002) have provided a theory of cognitive control that focuses on the role of context processing. According to their theory, an underlying context-processing mechanism is responsible for the cognitive control functions of attention, inhibition, and working memory. In the present study, the authors examined whether T. S. Braver et al.'s theory can account for developmental differences in cognitive control. The authors compared the performance of children (M age = 11.9 years, SD = 0.43 years) with that of young adults (M age = 21.7 years, SD = 3.61 years) on a continuous performance task (AX-CPT) that placed demands on context processing. The results suggest that developmental differences in the cognitive control functions of attention, inhibition, and working memory may be based on age-related changes in an underlying context-processing mechanism.

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