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Predicting Cognitive Control from Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Inge-Marie Eigsti, Vivian Zayas, Walter Mischel, Yuichi Shoda, Ozlem Ayduk, Mamta B. Dadlani, Matthew C. Davidson, J. Lawrence Aber and B. J. Casey
Psychological Science
Vol. 17, No. 6 (Jun., 2006), pp. 478-484
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40064397
Page Count: 7
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Predicting Cognitive Control from Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood
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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.

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