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    Development of the selection and manipulation of self-generated thoughts in adolescence

    Dumontheil, Iroise and Hassan, B. and Gilbert, S.J. and Blakemore, S.J. (2010) Development of the selection and manipulation of self-generated thoughts in adolescence. Journal of Neuroscience 30 (22), pp. 7664-7671. ISSN 0270-6474.

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    The ability to select and manipulate self-generated (stimulus-independent, SI), as opposed to stimulus-oriented (SO), information, in a controlled and flexible way has previously only been studied in adults. This ability is thought to rely in part on the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC), which continues to mature anatomically during adolescence. We investigated (1) the development of this ability behaviorally, (2) the associated functional brain development, and (3) the link between functional and structural maturation. Participants classified according to their shape letters either presented visually (SO phases) or that they generated in their head by continuing the alphabet sequence (SI phases). SI phases were performed in the presence or absence of distracting letters. A total of 179 participants (7–27 years old) took part in a behavioral study. Resistance to visual distractors exhibited small improvements with age. SI thoughts manipulation and switching between SI and SO thoughts showed steeper performance improvements extending into late adolescence. Thirty-seven participants (11–30 years old) took part in a functional MRI (fMRI) study. SI thought manipulation and switching between SO and SI thought were each associated with brain regions consistently recruited across age. A single frontal brain region in each contrast exhibited decreased activity with age: left inferior frontal gyrus/anterior insula for SI thought manipulation, and right superior RLPFC for switching between SO and SI thoughts. By integrating structural and functional data, we demonstrated that the observed functional changes with age were not purely consequences of structural maturation and thus may reflect the maturation of neurocognitive strategies.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 May 2013 09:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:03


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