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VINCENZA TARANTINO

Developmental trajectories of internally and externally driven temporal prediction

  • Autori: Mento, G.; Tarantino, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Adult; Child; Cues; Humans; Middle Aged; Photic Stimulation; Reaction Time; Attention; Drive; Medicine (all); Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all); Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/306086

Abstract

The ability to generate temporal prediction (TP) is fundamental to our survival since it allows us to selectively orient our attention in time in order to prioritize relevant environmental information. Studies on adult participants showed that externally and internally driven mechanisms can be engaged to establish TP, both resulting in better behavioural performance. However, few studies on children have investigated the ability to engage internally and externally driven TP, especially in relation to how these mechanisms change across development. In this study, 111 participants (88 children between six and eleven years of age, and 23 adults) were tested by means of a simple reaction time paradigm, in which temporal cueing and neutral conditions were orthogonally manipulated to induce externally and internally driven TP mechanisms, as well as an interaction between the two. Sequential effects (SEs) relative to both tasks were also investigated. Results showed that all children participating in the study were able to implement both external and internal TP in an independent fashion. However, children younger than eight years were not able to combine both strategies. Furthermore, in the temporal cueing blocks they did not show the typically-observed asymmetric SE pattern. These results suggest that children can flexibly use both external and internal TP mechanisms to optimise their behaviour, although their successful combined use develops only after eight years of age.