Do Young Children Modulate Their Cognitive Control? Sequential Congruency Effects Across Three Conflict Tasks in 5-to-6 Year-Olds


  • Ambrosi Solène
  • Lemaire Patrick
  • Blaye Agnès

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Dynamic, trial-by-trial modulations of inhibitory control are well documented in adults but rarely investigated in children. Here, we examined whether 5-to-7 year-old children, an age range when inhibitory control is still partially immature, achieve such modulations. Fifty three children took flanker, Simon, and Stroop tasks. Above and beyond classic congruency effects, the present results showed two crucial findings. First, we found evidence for sequential modulations of congruency effects in these young children in the three conflict tasks. Second, our results showed both task specificities and task commonalities. These findings in young children have important implications as they suggest that, to be modulated, inhibitory control does not require full maturation and that the precise pattern of trial-by-trial modulations may depend on the nature of conflict.

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