Title page for ETD etd-04182011-144100

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Watson, Amanda Joyce
Author's Email Address watsonaj@vt.edu
URN etd-04182011-144100
Title Individual Differences in Inhibitory Control Skills at Three Years of Age
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Chair
Deater-Deckard, Kirby Committee Member
White, Bradley A. Committee Member
  • Inhibitory control
  • EEG
  • Developmental cognitive neuroscience
  • Early childhood
Date of Defense 2011-04-15
Availability restricted
Seventy-three children participated in an investigation of inhibitory control (IC) at 3 years of age. Child IC was measured under various conditions in order to determine the impact that nonverbal and/or motivational task demands had on child IC task performance. Furthermore, task performance was examined with respect to measures of language, temperament, and psychophysiology. Tasks showed different patterns of relations to each of these variables. Furthermore, performance on the Hand Game, our measure of nonverbal IC, was explained by frontal EEG activity and, surprisingly, by language abilities. In contrast, performance on two other IC tasks, Day-Night and Less is More, was not related to measures of language or frontal EEG, perhaps because children performed at chance level on these tasks, indicating that these tasks may be too difficult for 3-year-old children. Implications of these findings are discussed.
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