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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Response monitoring is the ability to detect errors or conflict during the performance of cognitive tasks and subsequently adjust behavior to enhance ongoing performance. Response monitoring improves during early development such that, as children age, they are better able to detect errors or conflict and make appropriate adjustments in behavior. To extend our understanding of the development of response monitoring, the present investigation addressed four related aims. The two primary aims included (1) delineating the effect of age on behavioral adjustments following errors (i.e., post-error slowing under conditions of low conflict/control) and (2) delineating the effect of age on behavioral adjustments following conflict (i.e., post-conflict behavioral adjustments under conditions of low conflict/control). The two secondary aims included (3) comparing the age-related effects of response monitoring under conditions of high and low conflict/control and (4) determining the extent to which age-related effects in response monitoring paralleled those of another executive ability, inhibitory control. To address these aims, 89 participants between 4 and 24 years of age were administered two tasks similar to those used in previous research to examine response monitoring in children, adolescents, and young adults. The statistical approach used to examine age-related changes in response monitoring was hierarchical regression. Post-error and post-conflict behavioral adjustments under low conflict/control conditions were found to improve in non-linear and linear fashions, respectively, and reach maturity at different points in development. Post-error behavioral adjustments under low conflict/control conditions plateaued and reached adult levels in early adulthood, whereas post-conflict behavioral adjustments continued into young adulthood. A significant difference was observed between the effects of age on post-error slowing under low conflict/control conditions across the Simon and go/no-go tasks. In addition, qualitative differences in regression functions across the two tasks suggested that age-related improvements in response monitoring under low conflict/control conditions was more protracted on the Simon relative to the go/no-go task. It was also found that age-related improvements in response monitoring under low conflict/control conditions were characterized by a reduction in the magnitude of post-error and post-conflict behavioral adjustments (i.e., slowing), whereas age-related improvement in response monitoring under high conflict/control conditions was characterized by an increase in the magnitude of behavioral adjustments (i.e., slowing) on post-error trials. Age-related effects in inhibitory control most closely paralleled those of response monitoring under low conflict/control conditions and likely reflected maturation of overlapping brain regions subserving these abilities.
Chair and Committee
Desiree A White
Araujo, Gabriel, "Response Monitoring During Typical Development" (2011). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 496.
Available for download on Saturday, August 15, 2111