Predicting Cognitive Control From Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Eigsti, I., Zayas, V., Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., Ayduk. O., Dadlani, M.B., Davidson, M.C., Aber, J.L. & Casey, B.J.
Psychological Science, June 2006, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p478-484, 7p.

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.

Wagner Faculty