Back Past events: Charo Rueda. Emergence of executive control in infancy: brain and behavior markers

Charo Rueda. Emergence of executive control in infancy: brain and behavior markers

- BCBL auditorium (and BCBL zoom room 2)

What: Emergence of executive control in infancy: brain and behavior markers

Where:  BCBL Auditorium and zoom room 2. (If you would like to attend to this meeting reserve at

Who: Charo Rueda, PhD, Full Professor, Dept. Experimental Psychology & Mind, Brain and Behaviour Research Center, University of Granada, Spain.

When:  Wednesday,   May 25th at 2:30 PM.

Changing responses in accordance to variations in the context is key to self-regulate behaviour in a changing environment. Adjusting to infrequent contingencies requires inhibition of most frequent, dominant responses, a function referred as executive attention. There is evidence that in the last trimester of the first year of life infants start to show basic inhibition and switching skills, as in the A-not B task. The ECITT task has been recently designed to measure inhibitory control (IC) in toddlers, which requires touching a button that appears in one side of a tablet device in 75% of trials (prepotent location) and only 25% on the opposite side (inhibitory location). Using this task it has been shown that 10 month-old infants are able to flexibly change responses, although there is a substantial development of this capacity during the second year of life. On the other hand, patterns of intrinsic brain electrophysiological (EEG) signals change considerably during infancy and toddlerhood. Also, the relative power of different frequencies has been associated with observed individual differences in attention and temperament. Data from resting-state EEG indicate that power of theta (3-5Hz) and gamma (20-45Hz) frequency bands decrease with age while it increases in the alpha (6-9Hz) frequency band. In this study, we aimed at studying the possible association between patterns of oscillatory activity at rest and the early development of IC. For that purpose we used the ECITT with a cohort (N=100) of 9 month-old infants who were longitudinally followed at 17 months of age. Our study is the first to use a response inhibition task with infants below 10 months of age and shows a predictive association between the early development of inhibition and oscillatory activity in the alpha and gamma ranges in frontal channels. This result may potentially provide early brain markers of the development of executive attention.