Developmental and individual differences in novelty and error detection in 10-year-old children and young adults /
Santesso, Diane L.
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Event-related potentials were recorded from 10-year-old children and young adults in order to examine the developmental dififerences in two frontal lobe functions: detection of novel stimuli during an auditory novelty oddball task, and error detection during a visual flanker task. All participants showed a parietally-maximal P3 in response to auditory stimuli. In children, novel stimuli generated higher P3 amplitudes at the frontal site compared with target stimuli, whereas target stimuli generated higher P3 amplitudes at the parietal site compared with novel stimuli. Adults, however, had higher P3 amplitude to novel tones compared with target tones at each site. Children also had greater P3 amplitude at more parietal sites than adults during the novelty oddball and flanker tasks. Furthermore, children and adults did not show a significant reduction in P3 amplitude from the first to second novel stimulus presentation. No age differences were found with respect to P3 latency to novel and target stimuli. These findings suggest that the detection of novel and target stimuli is mature in 10-year-olds. Error trials typically elicit a negative ERP deflection (the ERN) with a frontal-central scalp distribution that may reflect response monitoring. There is also evidence of a positive ERP peak (the Pe) with a posterior scalp distribution which may reflect subjective recognition of a response. Both children and adults showed an ERN and Pe maximal at frontal-central sites. Children committed more errors, had smaller ERN across sites, and had a larger Pe at the parietal site than adults. This suggests that response monitoring is still immature in 10-year-olds whereas recognition of and emotional responses to errors may be similar in children and adults.