Description: Research on the development of response inhibition in humans has focused almost exclusively on average stopping performance. The development of intraindividual variability in stopping performance and its underlying neural circuitry has remained largely unstudied, even though understanding variability is of core importance for understanding development. In a total sample of 45 participants (19 children aged 10-12 years and 26 adults aged 18-26 years) of either sex we aimed to identify age-related changes in intraindividual response inhibition performance and its underlying brain signal variability. While there was no difference in average stopping performance between children and adults, stop signal latencies for the children were more variable. Further, brain signal variability during successful stopping was significantly higher in adults compared to children, especially in bilateral thalamus, but also across regions of the inhibition network. Finally, brain signal variability was significantly associated with stopping performance behavioral variability in adults. Together these results indicate that variability in stopping performance decreases, whereas neural variability in the inhibition network increases, from childhood to adulthood. Future work will need to assess whether developmental changes in neural variability drive those in behavioral variability. In sum, both, neural and behavioral variability indices might be a more sensitive measure of developmental differences in response inhibition compared to the standard average-based measurements.Communities: developmental
Related article: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117691
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