Development of response activation and inhibition in a selective stop-signal task

M.C. van de Laar, W.P.M. van den Wildenberg, G.J.M. van Boxtel, M.W. van der Molen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


To gain more insight into the development of action control, the current brain potential study examined response selection, activation, and selective inhibition during choice- and stop-signal processing in three age groups (8-, 12-, and 21-year-olds). Results revealed that age groups differed in the implementation of proactive control; children slowed their go response and showed reduced cortical motor output compared to adults. On failed inhibition trials, children were less able than adults to suppress muscle output resulting in increased partial-inhibition rates. On invalid stop trials, all age groups initially activated, subsequently inhibited, and then reactivated the go response. Yet, children were less efficient in implementing this strategy. Then, older children recruit motor responses to a greater extent than younger children and adults, which reduced the efficiency of implementing response inhibition and proactive control. The results are discussed in relation to current notions of developmental change in proactive and reactive action control.
Keywords: Selective inhibition, Development, Response activation, Response inhibition, EMG, Laplacian ERPs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-67
JournalBiological Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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