Neural mechanisms supporting flexible performance adjustment during development

  • Eveline A. CroneEmail author
  • Kiki Zanolie
  • Linda Van Leijenhorst
  • P. Michiel Westenberg
  • Serge A. R. B. Rombouts


Feedback processing is crucial for successful performance adjustment following changing task demands. The present event-related fMRI study was aimed at investigating the developmental differences in brain regions associated with different aspects of feedback processing. Children age 8–11, adolescents age 14–15, and adults age 18–24 performed a rule switch task resembling the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, and analyses focused on different types of negative and positive feedback. All age groups showed more activation in lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and superior parietal cortex following negative relative to positive performance feedback, but the regions contributed to different aspects of feedback processing and had separable developmental trajectories. OFC was adultlike by age 8–11, whereas parietal cortex was adultlike by age 14–15. DLPFC and ACC, in contrast, were still developing after age 14–15. These findings demonstrate that changes in separable neural systems underlie developmental differences in flexible performance adjustment. Supplementary data from this study are available online at the Psychonomic Society Archive of Norms, Stimuli, and Data,


Parietal Cortex Error Feedback Erroneous Response Correct Rule Correct Positive Feedback 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eveline A. Crone
    • 4
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kiki Zanolie
    • 4
    • 1
    • 2
  • Linda Van Leijenhorst
    • 4
    • 1
  • P. Michiel Westenberg
    • 4
    • 1
  • Serge A. R. B. Rombouts
    • 4
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Leiden Institute for Brain and CognitionLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Leiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Developmental PsychologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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