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Patricia L Davies, Sidney J Segalowitz, and William J Gavin (2004)

Development of response-monitoring ERPs in 7- to 25-year-olds

Developmental Neuropsychology, 25(3):355-376.

In a target discrimination task, trials with incorrect responses elicit event-related potentials (ERPs) that include an error-related negativity (ERN or Ne) and a later error-positivity (Pe). Substantial evidence points to the anterior cingulate cortex as the source generator of the ERN. We examined the development of ERP component morphology, amplitude and latency to processing of correct and incorrect responses in 124 children, 7 to 18 years of age, and 27 adults, 19 through 25 years of age. The ERN and Pe were recorded during a standard 480-trial visual flanker task. As expected, response times decreased significantly with age. The ERN amplitude in error trials increased with age, although this was qualified by a nonlinear change as well. The Pe amplitude did not change with age. In correct trials, most participants produced a small negativity corresponding to the timing of the ERN in error trials. This correct-response negativity (CRN) amplitude was larger in children than in adults. Results are discussed with respect to continued maturation of the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex into young adulthood.


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